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Tucson airport officials expect half as many Thanksgiving travelers as last year

Posted at 6:51 AM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 16:33:12-05

TUCSON, Ariz. - Thanksgiving is usually an extremely busy time at airports all across the country, but this year, that will be different.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on airlines and how much business they have. At the Tucson International Airport, officials say that impact has definitely reached them.

Bruce Goetz is the Chief Operating Officer at the Tucson International Airport. He says that although they do not know exactly how many travelers will come through the airport, they do expect a lot fewer than last year.

“We really expect Thanksgiving to be about 50% of what we normally see come through at this time," said Goetz.

He said those who do chose to travel via airplane should be ready to see lots of changes at the airport.

“For people who haven’t flown in a while, I think the one thing you’ll notice is all the efforts we’ve done here for social distancing and cleaning," he said.

Goetz added the airport made changes to help keep travelers as safe as possible. He said the changes will not be hard to miss for travelers.

“We’ve put UV sterilizers on our handrails on our escalators. Also new our toe kick buttons at the elevators so when you walk up and instead of using your fingers you can use your feet to call up the elevator and choose which floor you want to go to," said Goetz, “we’ve done a lot even in the air purifying systems, upgraded all of our filtering.”

Goetz said he does expect the airport to be busier than it was over the summer, especially before and after the holiday.