Some 30,000 to 35,000 holiday travelers passed through the Salt Lake International Airport Sunday, but good weather eased most problems generated by the heavy traffic flow.
Traditionally, the Sunday after Thanksgiving is the busiest day at the airport and this year was no exception, said Lewis Miller, Airport Authority director."With the people coming to greet travelers and seeing others off, we probably handled 50,000 people through the airport terminals on Sunday," Miller said.
The biggest challenge to handling the throngs is generally weather conditions and security clearances, Miller said. Mother Nature cooperated with good driving conditions, and traffic to and from the airport was generally smooth. While parking facilities were heavily taxed, Miller said there were no reports of major problems.
All five security systems at the airport were in full operation as the airport increased its security manpower by 50 percent to meet the challenge. "We have two security systems in terminal one and three in terminal two. Generally the extra systems are used for backup purposes if we have problems," Miller explained. "Yesterday we had all five in service full-time."
"I'm sure we had some people that waited to the last minute and had trouble making their flights on time, but we've had no reports of major incidents," Miller added.
Air traffic in and out of the airport also moved slowly. Miller said flight conditions through the entire Thanksgiving holiday period were good and flights arrived and departed mostly on schedule. He said there were no weather conditions in other parts of the country that affected Utah flights to his knowledge.
Early November storms that dumped plenty of snow on ski resort slopes helped ensure a busy travel weekend. Ski resorts were reporting heavy local and tourist use over the weekend. The out-of-state skiers no doubt accounted for a large percentage of Sunday's traffic at the airport as they packed their skis and headed for home.