LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The staff at Clinton National Airport is ramping up for a huge increase in travel for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Airport officials say Friday will be its busiest day of the weekend with nearly 5,000 departures. Many of those will be in the morning, and airport staff is advising travelers to arrive at least two hours before their scheduled flight is set to depart.

Airport officials said the number of flyers is expected to be up by 27% over 2021, with lessening pandemic restrictions being a big reason why.

“As health conditions have improved, people want to get out and go places,” Clinton National spokesperson Shane Carter said. “Our airport is primarily made up of leisure travelers, and many of these travelers have not been on an airplane since before COVID, and they are ready to get out and go and have a great time.”

Carter added that whether flyers have reservations or are buying a ticket, they should remember the airport will be busy.

Airport officials also stressed travelers need to make sure to follow all the TSA guidelines for carry-on bags to save everyone time and frustration.