Summer travel down 90% at Norfolk International, but safety and sanitation efforts heightened

Posted at 2:06 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 17:36:35-04

NORFOLK, Va. - The ticketing counters, waiting areas and terminals at Norfolk International Airport are not filled with the usual number of families taking their summer vacations.

"We have seen the numbers decline as much as 90 percent plus below last year's traffic," said the airport's executive director, Steven Sterling.

But Sterling says they have actually seen a recent uptick in the last week, and with that passengers will find increased safety measures greeting them on the way to their destination.

"We have a dedicated janitorial staff that has increased their efforts cleaning and disinfecting public touch points, and we have added visual and audio elements to remind travelers of the CDC requirements," Sterling said.

In addition to more signage and increased safety measures, the airport has also added more hand sanitizing stations and is giving away free masks.

"We have given out more than 36,000 in the last five weeks," Sterling said.

While Sterling cannot comment on how safe it is to fly right now with the continued spread of COVID-19, he is willing to reassure passengers that their first stop and when they board the plane is well-controlled.

"Some airlines are blocking off more seats then others, and many are mandating masks," he said.

Delta, Southwest, Frontier, Jet Blue and Alaskan Airlines are all blocking off middle seats to practice social distancing. Airlines are also drastically curtailing food and beverage services in flight to limit contact between customers.

"I encourage travelers to check with airlines before they travel to the airport," Sterling said.

For travel restrictions and guidelines from the CDC, click here.