AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — For more than a year, Donna Rarex didn’t travel. Last month, she packed a bag and flew from California to Augusta for her first trip since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“Tt felt wonderful,” she said. “It felts great. I felt safe. Everyone wore masks.”

Rarex is just one of thousands traveling out of Augusta Regional Airport this month and why the airport is getting busier.

“We’re seeing the terminal busy again, and we’re excited to see that,” Lauren Smith, Augusta Regional’s Public Relations and Customer Service Manager, says.

Travel has increased significantly at Augusta Regional this year. Activity was down by 50 percent in January compared to January 2020. That number was cut to three percent in April.

“We have gained back all the flights we lost during COVID,” Smith says. “We’re happy to have a full schedule again.”

People are even happier to see the world.

“A lot of people have been vaccinated,” Karen Rehnlund said before she boarded her flight. “Things are becoming more normal.”

More travelers means more people are needed to run the airports. Augusta Regional is looking to fill several positions. Delta and American Airlines, the two major airlines operating out of the airport, plan to staff up too.

“Everyone’s working to try to fill those vacancies,” Smith explains. “Right now, we’re able to accommodate passengers. There’s no major delays because of the lack of employees.”