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Preliminary numbers show Norfolk International saw around 7% more travelers in the week surrounding July 4th than the same time last year.

Charlie Braden, associate vice-president of market development at the airport, said pent up travel demand from the pandemic has driven record numbers of passengers through airports across the country.

"We started seeing really a rebound in travel starting in November of 2021. That's when we really started seeing us surpassing the previous year's traffic. And it's been growing ever since," he said Wednesday.

Braden said those figures are based on preliminary estimates from the TSA, and that finalized numbers until the air carriers submit reports in a few weeks.

But the big weekend is an indicator of a potentially even bigger year.

2022 was Norfolk’s busiest year ever, and Braden says they’re on track to shatter that record in 2023. The airport saw 9 percent more traffic in the first five months of this year than last year.

Braden says Norfolk’s recent addition of several low-cost airlines has added to that growth.

That includes carriers like Spirit, which started daily flights out of Norfolk earlier this year to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando in Florida.