MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery Regional Airport has new policies and procedures in place to keep travelers safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive Director Marshall Taggart wants all passengers to know his airport is clean, safe and ready to fly.
"We want our passengers to realize that being safe is our number one priority," Taggart said.
At the airport, you’ll notice some new fixtures designed to protect passengers.
“Plexiglas at the customer service booths, and all the counters,” Taggart explained. “We also have the little placards on the floor to let you know, we want to encourage social distancing.”
The Transportation Security Administration also implemented more changes to limit person-to-person contact.
“You’ll see them with mask with gloves in terms of handling passengers, said Taggart. “You’ll notice that the TSA agent won’t take your ticket by hand, they’ll actually ask you to hold up the ticket and then they’ll read it and scan it to make sure it’s correct.”
Getting through security will also be a little different.
“You won’t have those small containers where you can put your cell phones in. The TSA is asking for you to put those actual items inside of your carrier,” Taggart said.
Taggart explained the idea is to use as few bins as possible in order to spread as few germs as possible, and keep safety and security top of mind.
“The thought process is be safe, be convenient, and be secure flying out of MGM,” said Taggart. “At the end of the day, we’re in this together.”
FEMA is also sending Montgomery Regional Airport 17,000-thousand face masks for it to provide to travelers. The airport also does a deep cleaning at least once a week.
Since the pandemic began, Montgomery Regional dropped down to just four flights in and out of the airport per day. Now, travel is starting to pick back up. Taggart says there was a 20 percent increase in passengers at his airport from April to May.
“So that tells us what the market opening with the governor’s decree that she put out to basically begin to open us back up and get us back working again,” Taggart added. “We are seeing business travelers and uptick in leisure travelers, particularly around Mother’s Day, and also the Memorial Day holiday. So we know that the things that we’re doing to really convey to folks that we’re safe, and we’re entering a place where you can travel. In this case, we feel that as time goes on, we’ll be up back to those numbers eventually, hopefully by the spring of 2021.”
MGM is adding back two Delta flights, to Dallas and Atlanta, July 1 and plans to resume its flight to Washington, DC in August.