Passengers stroll by means of an almost empty concourse at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma Metropolis, as airways restrict flights due to the virus outbreak. (AP photograph/Sue Ogrocki)
OKLAHOMA CITY – With airways canceling flights each day, Will Rogers World Airport has adjusted staffing to maintain the airport functioning whereas decreasing the chance of spreading COVID-19 to staff and the general public.
“They’ve gone to rotating shifts,” Director of Airports Mark Kranenburg informed members of the Oklahoma Metropolis Airport Belief on Thursday concerning airport staff who deal with essential operations like TSA screening and baggage dealing with. “Mainly, which means they’ve one work group that works for seven to 14 days and the opposite is house, after which they commerce off. That’s all to have a minimal impression on staffing within the operation if somebody had been to change into ailing.”
Thus far, the airways haven’t revised their month-to-month schedules, however are canceling flights on a day-to-day foundation, mentioned Kranenburg. Flight schedules change so quickly that individuals who do have journey plans right now ought to keep in fixed contact with the airline to make sure that their flight will happen.
“Many flights, due to the discount in passengers, are going out truly with lower than 20 passengers proper now,” mentioned Kranenburg. “At the moment, the excellent news is there aren’t any air service markets which have been eradicated from Oklahoma Metropolis, so we nonetheless have all the cities that we offer service to.”
American Airways and Southwest have suspended their curbside service. Three of the airport’s meals and beverage operations are nonetheless open offering carryout service, however their hours have been considerably lowered. 4 of the airport’s shops are nonetheless open.
“We’re nonetheless working every day with janitorial to make sure that we’ve diligent cleansing and we’re disinfecting contact factors in all the closely trafficked areas,” mentioned Kranenburg. “And we’ve put in CDC signage in all the restrooms to remind passengers and staff how they might help forestall the unfold of COVID-19.”
Due to restricted staffing and almost empty parking tons, the airport closed Lot #3, the Cover Lot, with the intention to consolidate sources for the Economic system Lot and the Important Shuttle Lot.
The buses that take passengers to the rental automobile services, which was once in almost fixed movement choosing up and dropping off clients, now sit and wait 10 minutes earlier than leaving one facility to journey to the opposite. All excursions are suspended, as is the airport’s Jet Units stay music performances.
Airport officers keep in fixed communication with stakeholders and public well being organizations just like the Oklahoma Metropolis-County Well being Division to supply ideas and updates, mentioned Kranenburg.
Excluding the YMCA Navy Welcome Heart that assists troops arriving on the airport on their strategy to Fort Sill, the opposite volunteer teams that usually meet arriving passengers on the airport, resembling Vacationers Assist and the Human Animal Hyperlink of Oklahoma (HALO) Basis, have additionally suspended their providers. In a message posted to HALO’s web site, CEO Terri Smith mentioned there are “too many unknowns” to proceed offering animal remedy providers on the airport right now.
“We, with our canine, introduce a higher threat as a result of a ‘crew’ consists of two – human and canine – visiting nice plenty of individuals in many various environments,” reads Smith’s assertion. “Security measures aren’t simply monitored.”