Bozeman Yellowstone airport seeing increase while country sees decline

Posted at 11:02 AM, Apr 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-24 13:08:09-04

GALLATIN COUNTY — The U.S. is currently seeing its largest decline in airport activity, 28 percent. But while the rest of the country is down in passengers, Montana is seeing a 9 percent increase.

“Montana is a place that people want to be. People want to be in the outdoors right now, so Montana has a lot of high demand for travel,” explained Brian Sprenger, director of Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.

That 9.9 percent increase in Montana compares to May 2019 before the pandemic, but that’s for domestic flights not including international flights.

"About 130 to 140 here on a normal year. Obviously, with the pandemic that’s down quite a bit because of restrictions in other countries. The customs facility here at Bozeman is qualified for private, smaller aircrafts. So, we don’t have international airline flights yet. But obviously, we have connections to all over the world,” he said.

MTN News caught up with a group traveling from Chicago. But with family in other countries, they know a thing or two about traveling internationally.

“It’s my whole group of 11 Russian people… Yeah we already like it here. We’re very excited. Nice experience,” said passenger Olesia Monakahova.

“I have concerns about vaccinating, you know. If they're going to make it really strict that you cannot travel because if you don’t have vaccine,” explained passenger Nadya Dukhounik.

But regardless of the potential restrictions, the summer months are the most popular time for the airport, which is why it's hosting a job fair on April 27.

“We anticipate that passenger traffic will be strong, and so everybody’s beefing up their staff,” Sprenger said.

For more information about the job fair, visit here.