Pandemic and limited patrons affect local airports during Masters

CSRA News

Augusta, GA (WJBF)- There is excitement in the air as Master’s Week approaches. Out of town patrons usually begin arriving over the weekend.

But a spokeperson at Daniel Field says this year things will be different.

Becky Shealy, a manager at the airport, said Daniel Field has had to change the way they function during Masters week this year by cutting staff and the control tower.

Because the Augusta National is limiting the number of patrons, and due to the the impact of the pandemic, Shealy said they will just have to take things as they come.

“So, again, we really just don’t know what to expect. the phones have start ringing as late as last week I guess people just go their badges we don’t know what to expect.”

Shealy told NewsChannel 6 that the FAA told them to only expect between 25 to 40 percent of the traffic they usually see during Masters week. Without the control tower, they are only able to accept 8 planes per hour rather than the usual 15.

“This year, being that there was a major reduction in the number of tickets that were…or badges that were going to be going out, we didn’t have the means to justify having a control tower. So, we’re not going to be a controlled field this year,” explained Shealy.

Shealy also said they are not using their usual reservation system this year and will be operating with less staff than usual during Masters Week.

Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins

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