Though Covid impacts are lingering into their third year, transportation officials across the Island have reported strong year-on-year traffic increases from 2021 to 2022 and some surprising departures from pre-pandemic levels.

While Steamship Authority numbers lag behind 2019 figures, air traffic to the Island has soared. Boat traffic in the Island’s harbors is as strong as ever, according to harbor masters, with nearly all slips and moorings booked well in advance of the summer.

At the Martha’s Vineyard Airport, commercial enplanements this June increased 16 per cent over the same period in 2021, reaching a total of 10,876 passengers. Last June, the airport recorded 9,405 enplanements.

Numbers over the past two years have exploded from the time before the pandemic, with June 2022 passenger counts more than double those in 2019, which saw 5,239 enplanements. Mr. Freeman said the surge in 2021 was unexpected, but that the airport is now equipped to handle the traffic.

“It was kind of a surprise to see how many people started to travel last year,” he said. “So we got used to seeing that number.”

Despite an increase in passenger traffic, total flights into and out of the airport — including private planes and military operations — decreased relative to last June, a drop of 5 per cent from 5,960 to 5,678.

“It’s consistent with last year,” Mr. Freeman said. “I’m not seeing anything drastic overall.”

In June 2019, the airport reported 4,666 total flights for the month of June.

The Steamship Authority reported a six per cent increase in passenger traffic over 2021 for the 10-day holiday period spanning July 1 to 10, adding 6,357 new passengers for 110,206 total. However, these 2022 numbers still trailed behind the 2019 holiday week by 11.5 per cent, which reported 124,552 passengers. Freight and automobile traffic has also lagged, Steamship Authority data show.

In the Island’s harbors, widespread predictions of a banner summer, have been bolstered by strong early reservations and high traffic. Harbor masters across the Island are reporting some of their busiest years on record.

Chilmark harbor master Ryan Rossi reported that this past weekend, July 16 to 17, was the highest grossing week for the Menemsha harbor since he took the town position in 2019.

Oak Bluffs harbor master Emily deBettencourt said that most summer weekends were sold out on the harbor by mid-March. Weekdays are quieter, she said, but space is still limited.

“We’re pretty much sold out for the rest of the weekends in July and through August 20,” she said. “During the week it’s a little slower.”

Traffic in the harbor hasn’t changed much overall, she said, leading to a familiar-feeling summer in Oak Bluffs.

“It doesn’t feel especially crazy,” she said.

In Edgartown, harbor master Charlie Blair told the Gazette that almost all summer reservations sold out on March 1 of this year, the day they became available. He added that this summer’s traffic was both more sizeable and plentiful than it has been in past years.

“For the most part, the boats are bigger,” Mr. Blair said. “People have upgraded.”

For the Catboat race this past weekend, he noted a “tremendous amount of traffic” in the harbor, as crowds flocked to see the spectacle.

“I’ve never seen so many people on that wharf in my life,” he said.