Piedmont Triad International Airport manager explains travel issues, improvements are being made
GUILFORD COUNTY, NC (WGHP) – Airports are where people spend a lot of their time these days. It’s summer travel season and many flights are being canceled daily.
We checked the departure board at Piedmont Triad International Airport a short time ago and saw two flights delayed and one cancelled.
We also caught up with airport executive director Kevin Baker to see how the airline struggle is affecting PTI and what his team is doing to counter it.
“It’s something we’re going to deal with for a while,” Baker said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced airlines to downsize.
“There’s really nothing anyone can do about it because this pilot problem is just going to take time for a new group of pilots to step into the shoes of those who have retired,” Baker said. .
This is one of the reasons why people trying to leave town don’t take off on time or face long delays.
“We have a lot of regional carriers operating here, and if they can’t find pilots, they can’t fly these planes,” Baker said. “What led here was a couple of the routes we had here before COVID haven’t come back yet. Even if they should come back, they won’t because the planes are grounded…they can’t find pilots to fly them.
Baker says the situation at PTI is frustrating.
“There are more people flying than there are seats for them,” Baker said.
While airport executives may not have control over airline headaches, they strive to make the passenger experience as pleasant as possible. Equipment upgrades are done behind the scenes.
“It will be a complete overhaul,” Baker said.
These are significant improvements for an airport that is the third largest in employment in the state with 8,600 people working on campus.
“This airport is unlike any other airport in the country…because we have a set of assets here that are not replicated elsewhere,” Baker said. “The airport has just received a new air surveillance radar and a new control tower is about to be officially operational.”
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