Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) expects a busy holiday week for passenger traffic as is usual for the time of year. “With GNV’s passenger traffic up more than 8 percent year to date, we could see a busier holiday than years past,” says airport CEO Allan Penksa.
Nationwide, the industry group Airlines for America estimates that about 15 million people will fly between Dec. 17 and Jan. 6. The group says planes will be fuller than last Christmas.
GNV added a fourth airline this year when Silver Airlines started intra-state service in April. Local capacity is up more than 11%. That means more seats are available out of Gainesville.
Travelers are reminded to take the busy season into account when planning their trip as extra volume may mean it will take more time to get to boarding. The parking lot will be near to full with available space in the back of the lot.
Since passengers may not be traveling light for a holiday visit, people should expect to spend extra time checking in and getting through security screening. Passengers should also remember that check in closes 30 minutes prior to stated time of departure. Travelers need a printed boarding pass by that time in order to proceed through the security check point.
“This is the time of year when we see travelers who have not been through the process recently,” says airport PR Manager Laura Aguiar. “They may have more questions and they need a few extra moments to get their bearings.”
Officials with the Transportation Security Administration remind people not to travel with wrapped packages. The TSA also has guidelines for traveling with holiday food items. For questions about items allowed through the checkpoint, people can visit www.TSA.gov.
GNV is in the final month of renovations in the front of the commercial terminal. One walkway between the parking lot and terminal remains blocked while new cement is poured. Foot traffic is being redirected to the Eastern crosswalk. The new vestibule entryway in front of ticketing should be open within the next few days.
Exterior lighting is being replaced with new, energy efficient LED lighting. Crews will be working on the project curbside up until the holiday.
“We ask for pardon from our passengers, visitors and tenants as we get through this dusty process,” says Penksa. “The renovations will result in easier accessibility as well as a greener airport in step with the local community.”