Augusta Regional Airport sees huge increase in Masters traffic this year

By: Sheli Muniz Email
By: Sheli Muniz Email
people in line at airport

Patrons headed home via Augusta Regional Airport after a busy Masters week. (April 11, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, April 11, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga.---It was a busy day at the airport as people headed home from a week at The Masters. Airport officials claim this year's Masters was one of the best weeks in recent years.

Last year's Masters champion Phil Mickelson's private jet stood at the runway Monday morning. He is one of many people leaving town after The Masters Week.

There appeared to be a trend at the airport Monday morning. Everyone came from afar.
Chair after chair and hat after hat, everyone sported their souvenirs.
Golf clubs lined the check-in counters.

Kim Carrington came from Alberta, Canada. She says, "This is my first time here, and I had the opportunity to bring my dad. He turned 70 and he was 50 years as a CPJ member. It was a father daughter trip for a week."

Mark Cary is from Johannesburg, South Africa and it was his first time too. Cary says, "It's an absolute treat. It's been on the bucket list forever and for anyone else who has this on their bucket list... it's a must."

Kim and Mark are two of thousands of people who flooded the airport this week.

Director of Aircraft Services at Augusta Regional Airport Bill Thompson says, "We did about 13 percent of our fuel sales for the year last week. We were busy."

They were so busy, Thompson says at this regional airport they had about 188 airplanes on the ground at one time.

With more flights, K-9 dogs, and preparations as early as fall, the airport saw more traffic than last year as people came from all over the world to fulfill a bucket list, root for their native golfer, or just see the course.

A group of guys from Brisbane, Australia called it heaven and mecca for golfers and golf fans. Golfer or fan, for many of those people taking off to Western Canada, other states, or countries down under, Augusta left a lasting impression.

Carrington says, "Augusta is a pretty special place and to be able to have The Masters here, you guys are pretty lucky."

Monday was such a busy day at Augusta Regional, some travelers say those in large groups were being ask to split up or being bumped off.

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