© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Donate Today Banner

Local airport traffic is slow this holiday season

WBFO file photo

Most holiday seasons, Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Niagara Falls International Airport would be swirling with activity, with cars arriving and departing, suitcases being rushed around, crowds checking departure and arrival times on airport monitors. Most years, about 8,000 people are departing each day. This year, that number is down to 1,700.

"If you’ve been to the airport lately, it really is so different and it’s almost eerie," said NFTA Spokesperson Helen Tederous.

"We talk about the airport is such a happy place, people going on destinations. People coming back. A lot of hugging. It’s definitely different with social distancing."

Another big difference, Tederous point out, is the closed border which has put an end to the crowds of Canadians using Niagara Falls International Airport and Buffalo Niagara International for cheap flights to Florida and other warm destinations.

Life for airport employees has also changed. Shuttle bus drivers, for example, have little business moving passengers from the parking lot to the terminal. Airport restaurants, Tederous says, "are open sporadically but not the same as they once were. So we do have some of our restaurants open at the times when more travelers are coming in and they are very mindful of when the flights come in and out."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.