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Carroll County Regional Airport still open; traffic down by one-third during pandemic

When the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic are in the past, the Carroll County Regional Airport should be operating at its usual pace.

That’s how Mark Myers, the airport’s regional manager, is trying to view things during an otherwise tumultuous time.

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“I’m hoping that things at some point, within the next few months, will kind of get back to normal again,” Myers said. “I think that’s everybody’s hope.”

The airport was established in 1976 when the county acquired severed hundred acres, including a grass strip runway north of Westminster along Md. 97, according to its website. A single, asphalt runway followed in 1977, and stretched more than 3,200 feet long. Two decades later the runway was extended to its current distance of 5,100 feet.

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Seven corporate hangars were built in the early 2000s, with each of them supplying up to 10,000 square feet of space. Skytech, Inc., the fixed-based operator that services Carroll County Regional, calls one of the hangars home.

Skytech, which as the FBO oversees owner-flown and business aircraft at the Carroll location, announced safety precautions in late March to help fight the spread of the coronavirus, including sanitation updates and a new work schedule for employees.

“Their hours of operation have been limited,” Myers said. “They’re working on a reduced staffing as well. They have a minimum staff at this point. Of course, the airport is open all the time. But the hours of operation for the FBO itself have been limited.”

Air travel numbers have been in decline since the coronavirus spread across the United States, and Myers said he estimated Carroll’s airport traffic has decreased by one-third. But Myers reiterated the airport is open and operating despite the changes.

“The personnel is at a minimum, absolute minimum,” he said. “The county personnel of course also are at an absolute minimum. Essential personnel only, basically.”

Myers said the FBO has rules in place to create distance between front-counter workers and anyone who enters the facility.

“We’re asking that only people with airport business come onto the field at this time,” Myers said. “Of course with the governor’s stay-at-home order, there’s a lot fewer people at the airport.”

Myers said he didn’t know if anyone was using the airport to transport medical supplies for people to combat the coronavirus, but that’s not to say it can’t and won’t happen in the weeks to come.

“We are always open,” Myers said. “The field itself can always be used. That’s one of the nice things about having an airport. You’ve got those options.”

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