University Park Airport Officials Hope Lifted Travel Bans Will Bring Back Passengers, Routes

Mar 13, 2021

University Park Airport located in Centre County
Credit Addison Albert

Governor Tom Wolf has lifted the coronavirus ban on traveling between states. Officials at the University Park Airport in State College hope this change will boost business at the hard-hit airport. 

Bryan Rodgers is the director of the University Park Airport. He says business was down by 70% this January from last January, and it was like that throughout 2020. 

The government kept airports and airlines afloat with CARES Act funding. The University Park Airport received $2.3 million in the COVID relief aid.

But Rodgers said some routes, such as Allegiant’s flight from State College to Tampa, have been suspended due to lack of funds and interest. 

“It goes with the other airlines as well, as far as number of flights, we aren’t anywhere near what we had in 2019," Rodgers said. "For instance we only have one flight a day with Delta to Detroit, where in 2019, we had three a day. Or we had six or seven flights with American to Philadelphia now we might have two.”

Rodgers said airlines will reevaluate demand in the fall to decide whether or not to continue offering flights out of the University Park Airport. 

“Obviously we’re a small community and it takes a lot of work and a lot of time to get the air service that we have and to lose any of it would be a tremendous misfortune," Rodgers said.

Rodgers says airport revenue may take years to get back to “normal.”