March airport traffic plummets as coronavirus takes toll on travel

The novel coronavirus is taking a substantial toll on commercial passenger traffic at the four largest airports in Missouri. Since at least 2018 at all four airports, monthly passenger traffic has increased the vast majority of the time when compared to the same month from the prior year. However, traffic at all four airports was dramatically lower this March, the most recent month for which data are available.

St. Louis Lambert International Airport, the state’s busiest airport, experienced the largest decline in March passenger traffic. Passenger volume was about 630,000, marking a decrease of 720,000 passengers, or more than 53%, from the year before. The average traffic in March for the prior three years was almost 1.3 million.

At Kansas City International Airport, March traffic was just shy of 481,000 passengers, which represents a decline of nearly 53% from the same month in 2019. Over the prior three years, KCI averaged about 992,000 passengers for the month.

At Springfield-Branson National Airport, there were about 52,000 total passengers for March. During the same month in 2019, the passenger count was just shy of 91,000. That is a decrease of almost 44%. Over the past three years, average March passenger volume was almost 88,000.

Columbia Regional Airport served about 12,000 passengers in March, which was a 43% decrease from the same month in the prior year. Average total passenger traffic in March for the prior three years was about 19,000.

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