Changes for air travelers at Tucson airport following pandemic

Posted at 8:30 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-10 12:19:33-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Tucson International Airport is hoping to see a bounce back soon, after a dramatic drop in flights and passengers.

"We're really anxious to look to the future to see what passenger confidence looks like to start rebounding," said Vice President of Operations and Tucson Airport Authority COO Bruce Goetz.

Passenger confidence will be key to TIA returning from what now often resembles a ghost town.

Goetz said the airport has seen a more than 90 percent drop in air travelers since the second week of March.

"It's just so unprecedented to see this size of a drop for this period of time," added Goetz.

Goetz said Tucson International has gone from more than 60 flights a day, to between just 15 and 20.

But he is optimistic that passengers and the airlines will return.

He points to June, when airlines plan to increase their schedule in and out of Tucson to 50 percent of normal.

As passengers return to TIA, expect changes because of the coronavirus.

"The social distancing aspect is going to be a huge part of the journey," according to Goetz.

Passengers will find marks on the floor at both check-in and in TSA lines.

The major air carriers are now requiring passengers and crew to wear face masks.

The Tucson Airport Authority requires employees to wear face masks, that includes cleaning crews.

"If people can say 'hey I'm bringing hand sanitizer, my family is going to be masked up' as they get into that airport environment," Goetz points out. "They'll see everybody else is masked up, I think they're going to start feeling good and confident about the travel that it is lower risk."