Airports ramp up for Masters traffic

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April 1, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Masters Week is about to kick off, and that means a lot of people flying in and out of Augusta's airports.

Representatives from both Augusta Regional Airport and Daniel Field say this Sunday prior to Masters Week has been one of the busiest they've seen in years. Now they hope their months of planning will pay off as people from all over the globe arrive in the Garden City.

"Well, we're ready..whether we're ready or not we're ready."

After months of preparation, Augusta's airports are hitting the ground running.

"All of us are really surprised," said Daniel Field marketing representative Becky Shealy. "This is the busiest Sunday prior to Masters that we've seen in awhile, and if this is a baramoter of what to expect this Masters Week, we're looking forward to it."

Daniel Field expects to handle between 70 and 100 planes a day during the Tournament. That's equal to the air traffic they normally see in one week.

Over at Augusta Regional, the skies are even busier.

"During Masters Seek you may se 150 jets parked on the runway, so we have a significant amount of traffic," said Diane Johnston.

To help move traffic along smoothly, extra US Marshals are on hand to help everyone stay on course. Augusta Regional has also stopped construction for the week and opened up extra lanes for traffic near both terminals.

"There's a lot that's changed around the airport," Johnston said. "We want to make sure that folks who haven't been here in awhile look for the signs and follow the signs."

But no matter which airport guests use, both say they're working to make sure you'll book a return flight next year.

"We are the gateway to Augusta, and this is the first thing that they're going to see. The first impression is a lasting impression so we hope to make it favorable from start to finish," Johnston said.

Daniel Field normally sees 15 to 20 planes per day. These are the numbers from Masters Week last year:

Mon: 70
Tues: 72
Wed: 118
Thurs: 132
Fri: 150
Sat: 40
Sun: 122

If today's air traffic is any indication, we can expect those numbers to be even higher this year.

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