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I live in a village very close to an (intl) airport: Bucharest "Henri Coanda" International Airport.
Now, due to lock-down caused by covid pandemic, I noticed - at least today when I spent most of the time outdoors - that all planes that flew over/around our location were propeller, none of them was a jet-plane.

Companies that normally operate flights on this airport: KLM, WizzAir, Alitalia, Delta, Aegean, Air France, Tarom, etc.

The main types of aircraft that normally operate on this airport are: A318, ATR42/72, B737, etc.

Do you have any idea why only propeller-planes these days?
I don't think it's a coincidence or just an impression, so I guess there must be some logical explanation.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to AviationStackExchange. You will find this site is mainly a fact based question and answer forum. Opinion based questions are frowned upon and frequently get down-voted and/or closed. Would it be possible to rephrase your question to include what facts your research has garnered so far. Info such as location, normal air traffic (type, company, make/model, etc.), flight pattern details, etc. will help others respond to your question. After all different countries will have differing experiences with Covid 19. $\endgroup$
    – Dean F.
    Apr 10, 2020 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ I would recommend asking something like, “What is the percentage of decline in commercial Passenger, Cargo, and General Aviation traffic for X[airport, city, and/or country]? Living under the flight path for a regional Bravo with an additional international Bravo and two extremely busy Deltas all within 20 miles of me, I have noticed more of a change in jet traffic than in light prop traffic.” $\endgroup$
    – Dean F.
    Apr 10, 2020 at 16:19
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks Dean, but I am interested in a qualitative answer, rather than a quantitative answer - I would rather want to know the cause, than a percentage. Please excuse my bad English... $\endgroup$ Apr 10, 2020 at 16:27
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    $\begingroup$ No one can definitively know “the cause” without knowing “the where” (and maybe the who and what). I have regional jet pilot friends who are surprisingly busy. Cargo jet pilots will also be very busy. There are flight schools who have completely shut down instruction in some locations but not others for the same flight school. There are charter companies still flying, and rental companies still renting. Not to mention aircraft owners still flying. Aviation is deemed an essential service in the US. At this time, it is not subject to current sequester orders. $\endgroup$
    – Dean F.
    Apr 10, 2020 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ Well, it's easy to replay the day in flightradar24 (only for 7 days for free; replay is the clock button on the right). There were some jet flights too, but there sure was rather many flights of C-130 and C-27J military transports. Since they were not scheduled, you'd have to watch them to see where they were going. And check local news for what government business they might have been up to. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Apr 10, 2020 at 21:41

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I have no idea about Bucharest specifically, but at least in the US, many GA pilots are taking advantage of the significant reduction in airline traffic to fly into big airports they're normally not welcome at. And, for the most part, ATC is welcoming these GA flights because they're bored too.

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    $\begingroup$ If you're going to downvote, give a reason so folks can improve their answers. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Apr 10, 2020 at 22:15
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    $\begingroup$ that's true, i feel like people downvote for no reasons some times. Like if you don't have a better answer, then don't downvote! (Also I upvoted for you) $\endgroup$ Apr 10, 2020 at 22:20
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It depends on where you are located. In the US, vacation travel has dramatically dropped but not completely subsided. Business travel for the road-warrior/frequent-flyer types has dramatically dropped but not completely subsided. There are people who work in essential service operations that still require air travel. Cargo distributed by air has not declined. It may even have increased. Individuals and companies that own their own aircraft are still flying. Just not with quite the same frequency as before Covid 19. These aircraft are typically smaller aircraft that are prop or turboprop driven.

It could also be that a lack of air traffic has made any air traffic stand out. Think about the complete airspace shutdown during 9/11. Any military aircraft in the air was drastically more conspicuous. In the current Covid 19 environment, a normally scheduled air photography, air survey, utility/pipeline inspection, Part 141 pilot training, etc. flight will still go on as scheduled (depending on the company, client, and location). It will just stand out like the proverbial sore thumb.

Case in point, the DFW area is still very busy airspace. Just not as busy as before Covid 19. It may still be busier than it was during the economic recessions of the past 50 years. Aviation is economically driven. There are fewer pilot training flights during Covid 19. But, it has not stopped entirely. Especially with the number of foreign airlines sending their cadet pilots to the US for training prior to the pandemic. Plus, Texas has a plethora of airports (big, small, civilian, military, public, private, and mixed use). Small prop and turboprop aircraft can use any and all of them except private (except by permission) and military.

It may be helpful to check the registration of the aircraft still flying if it is possible where you live. This will give you more of an answer of why they are flying.

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I think this is just the case for your airport because nowadays, it's actually the opposite for the big international airports. But, some international airports are actually mainly regional, even though they say they're international. So, that might be why.

Another possibility is GA planes. Some international airports still accept GA flights, even big hubs like Vancouver and Chicago!

But, there are benefits of having propeller planes. Firstly, they're more fuel-efficient, secondly, they're easier to fly in a pilots perspective, thirdly, they're easier to maintain, and much more.

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