Watertown Regional Airport adjusts to COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 9:15 AM CDT
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Construction at the Watertown is well underway, and a lot of progress has been made over the past couple months.

"Right now we have an apron terminal project we're redoing. It will turn into the general aviation ramp when we get the new terminal built," said Todd Syhre, the Watertown Regional Airport Manager.

But flights have been very low as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In March and April we had about 35 to 45 enplanements total for each one of those months," Syhre said.

Sarah Caron, the Mayor of Watertown says aid from the federal government is a big reason the airport is still able to operate.

"We are going to receive a grant through the CARES Act. This is going to help us, we want to keep a thriving airport after this is over," Caron said.

Syhre says the Government also eased the requirements needed to qualify for a one million dollar entitlement they usually receive for reaching ten thousand total enplanements in one calendar year.

"All airports will get it if they hit it in 2018," Syhre said.

He's positive the low numbers will change very soon.

An increase in travelers, and the continued work on the new terminal make Syhre very optimistic.

"My goal is to still hit 10,000 by the end of the year. It going to be tough but when people want to come back we welcome you back," Syhre said

Construction on the new terminal is expected to be completed by December of 20-21.