Despite travel concerns due to COVID-19 pandemic, TLH adds new procedures to protect passengers

Posted at 5:59 PM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 17:59:50-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Rebounding to the sky!

The pandemic has taken a toll on the aviation industry around the world.

The Tallahassee International Airport is helping to keep business moving and passengers safe.

"I'm from Delaware, working at TMH, supporting COVID-19," said John Witkowski.

Witkowski has been working in Tallahassee the last six months on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus. Now, he's flying out of TLH to visit his wife back home amid safety concerns.

"I feel like it would be safer if people would adhere to the recommendations," Witkowski said.

That means more passengers with masks on planes and social distancing in the terminals.

Jim Durwin is the deputy director of Aviation at TLH. He says keeping employees and passengers safe is the top priority right now.

"The airport's open," said Durwin. "We're ready for you."

TLH has a number of things in place to keep you safe, including plexiglass at the ticket check-in counter. They have stickers on the floor to keep you six feet apart from other travelers, and, of course, they've got hand sanitizer throughout the terminal to keep your hands nice and clean.

"Also, an increased focus on cleaning and sanitation," Durwin said.

He says the pandemic had a huge effect on traffic this spring.

"May of this year, our numbers were about 88 percent lower than May of last year," said Durwin.

But passengers like Witkowski are slowly coming back.

"We're trending in the right direction," Durwin said.

Despite the decrease in traffic, Durwin says you should still get to the airport about 90 minutes before your flight leaves with all the extra precautions airlines are taking these days to keep everyone safe and bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you.

Containers up to 12 ounces per passenger can be carried on.

Check with your airline about mask requirements. Some, including Delta and American, now require you to wear them.