FARGO — Sunday marks the highest number of passengers traveling by plane since the pandemic started. But the people in charge of Hector International Airport said the traffic is still not half of the same day in 2019.

The Transportation Security Association records the number of passengers going through security during the pandemic. They are reporting 1,176,091 people flew nationwide on Sunday, compared to 2,882,915 on that day last year.

Airport Authority Executive Director Shawn Dobberstein said the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was their busiest day for outbound passengers, and Sunday had the most inbound passengers to Fargo.

"Overall, the Thanksgiving holiday week went off without a hitch," Dobberstein said. "(We're) doing well, all things considered, even though we're only handling about half as many passengers as we normally would."

Dobberstein estimates more than 1,100 people flew out of the airport on that Wednesday, Nov. 25. Most travelers from that week returned yesterday.

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While this was one of their busiest days since the pandemic started, it still doesn't come close to the number of passengers pre-pandemic.. They are preparing for a similar increase for the next round of holidays.

"(There) may be a little bit more traffic than what we've seen over the last couple of months just because of the snowbirds may be deciding to take off and head down to their winter haven," Dobberstein explained.

In September and October, Hector was down by about 51% from a normal day, but that is still a higher than most of the country.