Airports, for people who don’t remember, are places where large flying machines land and take off and get you very quickly to where you’re going.

You have to breathe the same air as strangers when you do fly, which is why this mode of transportation didn’t exactly have a great year in 2020.

Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) is one of the airports that’s been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but now it’s asking you to help out – and fortunately that request doesn’t involve boarding into a small contained area alongside of potential virus carriers. Instead, the airport is asking for your online vote to help it become named one of the best small airports in the country.

PTIA has been nominated in “USA Today’s 2021 10 Best Readers’ Choice” travel awards and the local airport that serves three major cities in central North Carolina is one of the current front runners in the nationwide contest.

Flyers – and non-flyers for that matter – can vote online for the “Best Small Airport.”

Which is where you come in.

“We need our community’s help to push us over the finish line,” airport officials stated in a press release calling for community support.

The link to vote is You can also find it by googling “10 Best Small Airport Survey USA Today.”

The airport could use some recognition because, like many airports across the country, it has been hurt economically by the pandemic. In the spring of 2020, for instance, there was one day when more people were working at PTIA than people who flew in and out of it.

Currently, 15 small airports are in the running for this award. The winner will be chosen based on the number of votes accumulated when the contest ends on Monday, Feb. 1.

And you’re allowed to vote more than once. Users can vote once per day on each of their web-enabled devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.

The winner will be announced on Friday, Feb. 12.

“Please support your hometown airport by voting for us daily and sharing this poll with your family and friends,” airport officials encouraged.