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US airports see highest post-pandemic daily flight traffic

The agency said tens of thousands of flights took off from, and landed at U.S. airports Thursday, the highest number of flights since the pandemic.
Travelers move through a security checkpoint in Denver International Airport.
Posted at 7:58 PM, May 26, 2023

The Federal Aviation Administration said that on Thursday, in the lead-up to Memorial Day weekend, the country had seen the highest number of daily flights in U.S. airports since the pandemic. The agency thanked airport staff and airline staff for handling the large influx of travelers in the run-up to the holiday weekend. 

The FAA said 54, 684 flights had taken offor landed at U.S. airports on Thursday. 

On Friday, the National Weather Service satellitesaid a weather system from the southeastern coast in the Atlantic — targeting Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina, and Virginia — would cause rain across large swaths of the beaches that people normally flock to during the holiday.

Air traffic continues to increase in numbers in the years after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, holiday travelers flowed through U.S. airports forthat year's Fourth of July weekend in the largest numbers since the pandemic's start in 2020. 

People at the beach in Miami.

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Transportation Security Administration data showed that by the end of May, 2,658,057 travelers had passed through TSA checkpoints for the year. That was up from 2,399,579 from the same date late year. 

In 2021 that number was at 1,854,534 for the same date, showing a somewhat steady increase in traveler numbers through checkpoints year to year.