Local airport says flying is still a safe way to travel

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WEYERS CAVE, Va. (WHSV) — Yesterday, the U.S. government ordered the immediate grounding of all Boeing 737 Max planes after Sunday's deadly Ethiopian airlines crash.

The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport said Federal Aviation Administration oversees flight safety and those high standards ensure airplanes coming out of the airport are safe.

"That's an FAA responsibility," Greg Campbell, executive director of SHD, said. "United Skywest provides the service here at Shenandoah Valley. They meet the highest possible FAA standards."

Campbell says he thinks it's fairly rare for a type of airplane to be grounded like this. Airplanes like the Boeing 737 Max jets that have been grounded do not service the airport, but they did fly at airports SHD connects with. Campbell says airplanes are still a safe way to travel.

"Air transportation, particularly in the United States is still clearly the safest mode of travel," Campbell said, "and it's the safest it's been in the history of aviation."

Some passengers at the airport shared their thoughts about flying after the crash. One passenger agreed with Campbell, saying she was not concerned about her upcoming flight.

"I think it's much more dangerous to be in a car nowadays than to be on a plane," Jen Diggs, a Staunton resident said. "I'm actually really excited to go on my trip, so I haven't been nervous about getting on a plane."

Anna Louise Cecil was heading to Chicago. She said she was a little nervous about flying before she heard about the crash.

"I was nervous to get on an airplane anyway, because this is my first time flying by myself on an airplane," Cecil said, "so hearing that news definitely is a little bit nerve wracking. "

Cecil said she did feel more comfortable flying out of SHD.

"This is kind of a smaller airport with a smaller plane, so I'm not too nervous, but I definitely think it's one of those things where I'll feel better once I get off."

Campbell said that if passengers have any concerns about their flights or the planes, they should reach out to the airline.