TULSA, Okla. — Since the first case of coronavirus was reported in Oklahoma, the Tulsa International Airport has seen fewer passengers.
According to the director of marketing for the airport, Andrew Pierini, the number of passengers became even smaller as the number of cases across the state grew.
"For the month of March, our passengers are down 53 percent. The first part of March was only down around 20 percent. The second half was down 85 percent,” Pierini said.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, transportation workers are deemed essential and Pierini says no airport employees been furloughed.
However, that is not the case for others working at the airport.
Pierini said, “Everything that is pre-security, we have shut down. Post security, we’ve adjusted our hours on several different locations. Some are open, some are closed.”
Although the food industry is considered essential, many food workers at the airport have been sent home due to a decline in business.
Delaware North, the hospitality company which employees the restaurant workers, furloughed 55 of its airport stationed staff.
Those were not the only people effected however. LAZ Parking, who handles parking operations, furloughed 50 people as well.
This comes less than a year after Tulsa International Airport selected the Connecticut based company to oversee self parking, valet parking, shuttle service and employee parking.
For the employees still able to work, Peirini says the airport has implemented a procedure to increase their safety.
“We’re kind of having an A shift and a B shift where we’re not cross contaminating teams," Peirini said. "So, if somebody did get sick, it wouldn’t spread across all the teams.”
As of now, there is no word on when or if the over 100 people will return to work.
In the meantime, plan your trip to the airport accordingly. Keeping in mind you may not be able to eat or ride a shuttle to the terminal.
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