HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — If you haven't been to Huntsville International Airport in a while, it might look very different from what you remember.
Any other time, the baggage claim area at Huntsville international Airport would be packed with passengers on a Friday afternoon. But, as our crews arrived to the terminal, it was virtually empty.
The airport is seeing a fraction of the number of travelers. But, they’re still putting some big changes in place so make sure everyone stays safe.
We met up with Cooper Jacob, a Public Relations Assistant with Huntsville International Airport. She showed our reporter all the new changes in the airport. Jacob comments on the major decline of passengers. She says, “At the worst, we were at three percent, and now we’re at seven percent-- which isn’t completely great, but it’s a win for us.”
With just seven percent of their usual passenger traffic, Huntsville International airport is making safety a priority. It’s more crucial now than ever.
A new masking ordinance in effect this week urges passengers to wear a mask throughout any part of the buildings. Though it’s not technically a requirement at this time. Cooper Jacob tells our reporter, that's because there’s not a city or county ordinance in place mandating masks in public spaces. Jacob adds, “Whether you’re picking somebody up, flying or just here at the airport. We just want to make sure our employees, our tenants, and our passengers stay safe.”
And, that’s just the beginning.
Plexiglass sneeze guards are being installed at gate desks, TSA, and gift shop counters. Jacob tells us, ticket counters are next. She says, “It's good to ... have an extra barrier and make employees feel safe as they’re coming to work as well as the passengers when they’re coming into contact with those people.”
Floor graphics as markers for social distancing are new, and starting to pop up on gate entrances and even restaurant service lines. Jacob adds, “The floor stickers are always great just to show how to keep your place in line, how to keep the six foot distance and just make sure everyone is as comfortable as possible.”
Signs that demonstrate how to make sure you're sitting 6 feet apart while waiting for your flight, touch-less hand sanitizer stations throughout the terminals, and a supply of masks in the gift shop help everyone to abide by the new guidelines.
Officials say some of these coronavirus changes could stick around. Passengers could be seeing plexiglass and masking policies for quite some time.