That’s 1% more than last year, and about 95% of pre-pandemic volumes.
238,000 of those people will be flying, which is a 6% increase from last year.
This Thanksgiving week the Waco airport is expecting higher numbers than in the past few years.
“Restrictions that we’ve seen in previous years have been lifted,” Security coordinator Justin Millican said. “And so it’s a lot easier to fly now, and a lot of people are in a better position to fly or more comfortable flying. So we’re seeing an increase in traffic.”
In general, Millican suggests getting to the airport an hour and a half early to allow time for road and airport construction and an influx of people there for holiday travel.
“We have a lot of activity going on in the airport as far as construction goes,” Millican said. “And then there’s a lot of road construction going on before you get to the airport. So in addition to that, you’ve got increased numbers from holiday travel. So we want to make sure everybody’s got plenty of time to get here, get checked in and get comfortable with where they need to go and just be in a good place to travel efficiently.”
The Waco airport has some terminal construction, but the flights will still operate as normal and there are plenty of employees there to help.
“The configuration is a little bit different because we are rebuilding a large portion of the terminal building currently, so you can expect a different location for the security checkpoint,” Millican said.
There is some road construction near the airport when you turn from Lake Air Drive to Airport Road, and that’s another reason Millican encourages allotting plenty of extra time.
Millican encourages everyone to check TSA before flying. Click here to see what you can and can’t take in your carry on.
“Especially around Thanksgiving, there’s a lot of food related items and travel related gifts and things and whatnot that’ll happen that may or may not cause troubles or delays at the checkpoints,” Millican said.
AAA Texas predicts 4.51 million people will fly around the nation. The Dallas Fort Worth airport expects about 2.6 million of those people to pass through DFW with the busiest day being Sunday with over 243 thousand customers.
AAA Texas predicts 3.6 million Texans will travel by car. Jake Smith with TXDot says with more traffic because of the holidays, it’s important to allow yourself more time to get to your destination.
Also pay attention to the weather. If you do encounter rain or snow, make sure to leave enough room between you and the car in front of you.
“Drive to the conditions at hand,” TXDot Waco PIO Smith said. “It doesn’t matter what the weather is, whatever the conditions are permitting, drive to that. Just because you see posted speed limit doesn’t always necessarily mean that’s the good speed limit to drive.”
If you’re mixing holiday fun or a family gathering with alcohol, make sure to get a sober ride home.
Last year, Texas saw over 48 thousand traffic crashes from December 1, 2021, through January 1, 2022—resulting in 433 fatalities. 23% of those were DUI-alcohol related.