MSP Airport traffic slowly returning, but still well below normal

Lee Bjurquist checks the status of flights at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

The number of passengers and flights at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport are slowly increasing, but are still well below normal.

Metropolitan Airports Commission CEO Brian Ryks shared new statistics in an open letter Tuesday, showing the number of passengers screened daily at the airport is still 75 percent below normal, but up from a more than 95 percent reduction in passenger screenings in April.

In April, the number of aircraft departures from the airport fell to 211, but has increased to about 249 per day. Ryks expects “continued growth” in the month of August, too.

However, Ryks said the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases in parts of the country will likely “reduce the pace of growth in the near term.” But, Ryks hopes that the airport’s new mask requirement will help people feel safer.

 Ryks also pointed to other growth statistics recorded at MSP Airport, too.

  • Airlines now serve 139 routes from MSP Airport, up from a low of 91 in May.
  • Daily parking demand has risen to between 2,400 and 2,900 from a low of 235 vehicles in early April. Total parking space capacity is 27,000.
  • The number of open shops and restaurants has risen from a low of 24 in mid-May to nearly 40 in July. Some 90 establishments remain closed due to the limited number of passengers.

Also Tuesday, Minnesota DEED announced layoffs at three MSP Airport restaurants. They are Lake Wine Kitchen and Bar in Terminal 1, Stone Arch restaurant in Terminal 1 and Barrio restaurant in Terminal 2.