Northwest Regional Airport takes steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Business is far from normal for the management and staff of the Northwest Regional Airport. From extra cleaning protocols to reduced flight schedules, steps to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus are being applied. Airport General Manager, Carmen Hendry explains what impacts have occurred as a result of other area airports postponing commercial flights for the foreseeable future.
"The closure of the other airports really hasn't affected us a whole lot due to the fact that there isn't a lot of non-essential traffic flying. I mean nobody flying away on holiday and whatnot. We don't expect there to be an overabundance of requirements from the other communities to use the Terrace facility. I mean, there are probably some people that will need to continue to fly. We are staying open, of course, for medivac and the charters for the project that is happening in Kitimat. They use a separate terminal, so they are taking their own precautions over there."
Hendry also highlighted the operational changes they have put into place to ensure the employees and travelling public's safety.
"What the airport has done is we have eliminated 50 percent of the seats in the restaurant because we still have to have places for people to sit. The restaurant is offering a takeout service from their counter because people are sitting here hours and hours they need to still have food, of course. As far as in the hold room, it is a sizeable hold room, and we are leaving it up to passengers and the airline. I mean, once you get on the aircraft, there really is no social distancing on the aircraft."
He also wished to convey to those in the area that may be attending the airport for pick up or drop off of passengers to do so safely.
"If you are coming to the airport to pick somebody up, please stay in your car or outside. We don't need people that are non-essential in the terminal building to help keep the social distancing unless of course, you are coming into help a senior person or a person that has accessibility issues."
As air travel has been severely reduced within Canada as a consequence of the pandemic, the resulting flight cancellations at other Northwest airports have not had a significant impact on this airport operation as of yet.