Sault airport closes out uncertain year
While passenger totals at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport have rebounded somewhat, officials say the airport is a long way from pre-pandemic levels.
However, they say they're slightly more optimistic heading into the New Year than they were at this time last year.
The airport began the year with a review of its air traffic control tower by NAV Canada, which had airport officials concerned about a closure. In the end, NAV Canada recommended the tower remain open.
CEO Terry Bos said fall passenger totals have him feeling a little better about 2022.
"We were back up to about 45 per cent of what we were pre-pandemic, which is still only about 8,500 passengers, but certainly was looking good in the fall," said Bos.
"Now, with Omicron and the new virus, who knows where things are going to go. Certainly we're hopeful the rise in passenger levels we'd seen here toward the end of the year will continue on through 2022."
However, with more professionals working remotely, Bos is less optimistic about business travel bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels.
"Obviously, it's down quite a bit. And maybe people now are getting used to this online stuff and they may not ever fully return," said Bos. "So, that's something we're really going to be keeping our eye on over the next year for sure."