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Airline passenger boarding continue recovering in ND

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Airline passenger boardings continue to recover from the pandemic year of 2020.

The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission reports 886,809 passenger boardings in 2021. That’s a 55 percent increase from 2020’s number – and that means 314,716 more passengers getting on commercial airplanes.

"We've really been trying hard to appease the public, and to ensure we have a safe environment for them, and to try to get them to come back and trust aviation as a mode of transportation," said state Aeronautics Commission Executive Director Kyle Wanner.

Wanner said boardings are about 17 percent below the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

"We're within arms reach," Wanner said. "That's despite all the challenges we have in aviation."

Wanner said airlines and airports are still dealing with COVID concerns, as well as a workforce shortage.

"We're in desperate need of pilots, and a whole assortment of other aviation careers," Wanner said.

Wanner also said business travel isn’t yet back to pre-pandemic levels. But he hopes that, too, will improve.

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