Updated: Apr 14

The first chart below compares the nationwide TSA passenger count for the same dates in 2019 and 2020. The second chart shows the decrease by week in daily operations at Lindbergh Field. This chart shows that currently there are about one-third the number of operations there were before the virus hit. Putting charts one and two together and assuming the nationwide passenger count is similar for San Diego, then the average load factor per operation is down from about 84 percent to about 15 percent.

Figure 0 - TSA passengers count showing impact of coronavirus by comparing 2019 and 2020

More to come (Graph updated 5/5/2020) and yes, the graph is correct. In one week, we have seen a decrease in number of operations on the first Monday from almost 650 to 290. Wow. Today's comment, Oh my! The second graph shows the change in the number of operations to and from different states. The negative sign indicates a decrease in flights. The next chart shows the summary of operations by week.

Today is Sunday, so in the next day or so, we will see if the number of operations continues to decline, or the airport has hit bottom. There are numerous reports that the coronavirus may have a profound and lasting effect on the airline industry. Airlines announced that they will not be purchasing new aircraft until 2021. Flights will not be restored to pre-coronavirus levels for some time. And some airlines are dumping larger aircraft for midsize planes.

Figure 1. Number of daily operations by week

What is amazing about the data in Figure 2 is that the number daily arrivals is now less than 100. A missed approach is implemented for safety, but too many missed approaches might demonstrate a chronic issue.

Figure 2. Number weekly arrivals and percent of number of missed approaches by total arrivals

Figure 3. Abort percent and Arrivals per day averaged over fourteen day intervals

Figure 4. Increase or decrease in number of daily flights to different destinations from SDIA (Horizontal axis is different states)

The picture below is another way of showing the change in flights to different states.

Figure 5. Destination percent change from March 1 to March 30 at SDIA


©2019 by Mission Beach for Residents. Proudly created with