Is Bradley International the Nation's Leading Small Airport? You Decide.

Connecticut by the Numbers

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2020 was not a banner year for air travel, courtesy of the coronavirus. USA Today, however, is looking ahead to the day when “we'll all be ready to pack our suitcases again and head out on our next adventures.”

The national newspaper has nominated 15 “small” airports around the country – including Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport - as among the “best” and is asking readers to vote for their top choice.

“The United States is home to many smaller, friendlier airports that take some of the headache out of travel. These 15 airports serve fewer than 10 million passengers each year, yet excel with their commercial flight offerings, easy access and amenities,” the publication explained.

Readers can vote through Monday, February 1 at noon. The top 10 smaller airports will be announced on Friday, February 12.

Bradley is not the only New England airport nominated. T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, just outside of Providence, is another USA Today nominee. USA Today noted that Bradley International Airport “ranks as the second-busiest airport after Boston Logan, yet it remains a convenient option with on-site parking, lots of charging stations, free WiFi and proximity to both New York and Boston.”

The other contenders: Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Charleston International Airport, Des Moines International Airport, Harrisburg International Airport, Huntsville International Airport, Indianapolis International Airport, Jacksonville International Airport, Long Island MacArthur Airport, Myrtle Beach International Airport, Paine Field (Everett, Washington), Palm Springs International Airport, Piedmont Triad International Airport and Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport.

“We are thrilled to kick off the new year with this nomination,” said Kevin A. Dillon, A.A.E., Executive Director of the Connecticut Airport Authority. “Even during these challenging times, Bradley International Airport continues to innovate and stand out in the airport industry. We invite our community to show pride for its home airport and bring this significant, national recognition to the region.”

The past year has been a tough one for airlines and airports nationwide. A total of about 2.1 million travelers passed through Bradley in the first 10 months of 2020, down 63 percent from the same period in 2019, according to published reports. Activity picked up during the holidays, but by a wide margin the numbers still trailed the previous year’s turnout. From Dec. 18 to Jan. 3, about 64,000 passengers were screened at Bradley, down 63 percent from a year ago.

The airport is continuing efforts, quite successful prior to the pandemic, to increase the number of carriers flying in and out of Bradley. And plans are moving forward for construction of a major new transportation facility at the airport, expected to be completed next year.

Bradley International Airport is operated by the Connecticut Airport Authority, and its operations are entirely self-funded. The airport contributes nearly $3.6 billion to the regional economy.

Last month, Bradley International Airport received the Airport Health Accreditation from Airports Council International (ACI) World. The organization’s Airport Health Accreditation program evaluates new health and safety measures and procedures introduced at airports worldwide in response to COVID-19. Condé Nast Traveler has recognized BDL within the top ten best U.S. airports for four consecutive years, most recently in 2020.

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