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April traffic was down 97% at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport as COVID-19 begins impacting air travel.

Roanoke VA., June 4, 2020 – The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport saw a sharp decrease in 2020 traffic with March traffic down 50.7% and April traffic down by 97% on a year over year basis. March 2020 witnessed 28,660 passengers fly via ROA compared to 58,136 in March of 2019 a decrease of 29,476 passengers. April 2020 witnessed 1,823 passengers fly via ROA compared to 60,965 in April 2019, a decrease of 59,142 passengers. April year to date passenger traffic was down 38% versus 2019 with 133,186 passengers served this year compared to 215,073 in 2019.

The spread of COVID-19, businesses eliminating travel, advisories to restrict non-essential travel, and stay at home orders have all played a role in this decrease in airline operations and travelers which ended the 29 months of sustained passenger growth, beginning in September of 2016.  The airport’s loss of 59,142 passengers equates to 1,971 fewer passengers flying each day in April.

 “The decrease in airline operations and passengers occurring this spring was not unexpected due to the pandemic,” stated Timothy T. Bradshaw, A.A.E., executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission.  “We hope to see passenger numbers gradually increase over the summer and into fall as this threat is diminished. The airlines have changed their schedules considerably and eliminated flights from airports across the country. We are confident we will see strong growth in travel at a later time. We continue to appreciate the support of our community choosing to fly ROA and not driving out of market to fly.”

The Commission continues to work with the airlines to maintain air service the airport has to serve the region. We are open and operational and if the public needs to fly and have implemented enhanced cleaning protocols in place, as do the airlines, to make it as safe as possible. The commission sincerely thanks our customers for choosing to fly ROA.


The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is the primary airport for Virginia’s Blue Ridge and the New River Valley.  ROA serves over 719,000 passengers per year via 4 airlines (American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and Allegiant Air) with nonstop service to 6 (Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago-O’Hare, New York-LaGuardia, Philadelphia, and Washington-Dulles) hub cities as well as weekly flights to Orlando Sanford International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. To learn more, please visit