EUGENE, Ore.— With a West Coast Travel Advisory in effect, the Eugene Airport said it’s unclear how this will impact air travel.
Andrew Martz, the Assistant Airport Director, said booking flights has evolved during the pandemic. He said many people are booking just weeks before their departure date, instead of months in advance. The uncertainty of what travelers' plans are makes it hard to gauge the impact of this advisory.
He said the airport was operating at around 47% this time in 2019.
Martz said if you choose to still fly, the Eugene Airport is clean and following all health guidelines. The airport just received a certification from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council for their cleanliness.
“That really shows that the Eugene Airport has a super high level of cleanliness, and we have gone under more additional training then we have before,” Martz said.
The economic impact is also unclear. Since the travel advisory isn’t mandatory, it is expected some will still travel. Brittany Quick-Warner, President of the Eugene Area of Commerce, said local businesses are more concerned about the two week pause.
“We were hoping for something a little less drastic than what we got and advocating for something a little less drastic than what we got but it is what it is," Quick-Warner said. "I think it's critically important folks pay attention to this two-week pause.”
Emily Watson, a graduate student from the University of Oregon, said she is still planning on flying home to Oklahoma for the holidays. She said at this point in the pandemic, people know how to navigate the guidelines to keep everyone safe.
“I think people are more aware to keep themselves from getting the virus and spreading it to others,” Watson said. “I think we just all have to rely on each other to keep each other safe.”