WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — Bradley International Airport is gearing up for what officials say will be a very busy summer flying season. Some predict more fliers could travel this summer than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Airport officials said Bradley could see more than 10,000 passengers take off daily — a number that is at or above pre-pandemic levels. They say everything will go smoothly if fliers plan before. Things like knowing where you are going to park and knowing the TSA checkpoint rules. The biggest thing that will help? Give yourself plenty of time.

“I think the key for us during the summer travel period is for folks to get here early,” said Kevin Dillon, Connecticut Airport Authority’s executive director. “We are expecting people to be at the airport 90 minutes in advance of your departure… which means being at the ticket counter. If you do that, you’ll have no problems.”

Beginning Aug. 9, Frontier Airlines will offer daily nonstop service to Las Vegas with prices starting at $99 each way. The airline known for its fuel efficiency is expanding with leisure travel getting back to pre-pandemic levels.

The opposite is true for business travel, and that’s holding up the return of Aer Lingus.

“It’s a just matter of the timing for its return,” Dillon said. “That route relies quite a bit on business travel, that’s the segment still lagging a bit, so we really need people to get back into the office. That’s when I think we will be able to get Aer Lingus back.”

Getting into Bradley will soon be easier with the airport set to open a brand new rental car facility. The garage has been more than five years in the making. Along with an additional 830 parking spots, it’ll house all rental car companies at the airport, eliminating the need for passengers to use shuttles to get to their rental cars.

You can’t miss it coming in. Spanning 1.5 million square feet, the four-story Ground Transportation Center will become the new hub for parking and transportation beyond your flight.

“We feel there is a strong regional bus demand coming into Bradley, but what we are really after in the future is a rail connection,” Dillon said.

There are more projects underway at the airport. To increase capacity and passenger flow, Dillon said they plan to remove all of their luggage machines in front of the ticket counters. Bradley is one of the last airports in the country that still processes checked bags at the ticket counters.

The ribbon-cutting for the rental car garage will be held on June 30, and it’ll be open to the public by July 11.

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