Flight Blog

Jun 04 2020 Busier Times BY sgf-adminTAGS General, How the Airport Works

 

It’s getting busier around here, but it’s not exactly busy.

Here’s another way of putting it …

In early April we frequently had less than 100 outbound passengers per day. Last week the average number was up to about 550 per day. That sounds really good until you consider that last year at this time we had between 1700 and 2000 outbound passengers per day.

Bottom line: passenger numbers are way down but starting to creep up. People are flying now because they have to, or because they’ve decided that it’s safe enough to fly. Regardless of why, it’s our job to make sure the airport is as safe and clean as possible. Here’s what we’re doing …

Airport staff installs sneeze guard at ticket counter.

SHIELDS UP!

Thursday morning marked the rollout of our newest safety initiative: sneeze guards at all airline counters. Our sneeze guards are plexiglass shields which separate customers from airline staff. Take a look at the photo. You can see airport staff installing them on lobby ticket counters.

Here’s a list of things the airport community is doing for our customers:

  • Deep cleaning all the time (at times we smell hospital clean).
  • Hand sanitizing stations at strategic locations throughout terminal.
  • Sneeze guards on airline and rental car counters.
  • Social distancing messages on video screens and public address system.
  • TSA staff wearing masks at security checkpoint and cleaning gray bins after every use.
  • Most airlines requiring passengers to wear face masks on aircraft.
  • Gift store has face masks for sale (in case you forgot to bring one).
  • Restaurant workers have their temperature taken every day; wearing masks at all times; continually cleaning counters. ­

Thank you, and remember — if you must fly, be safe!

 


Jun 02 2020 Social Distancing Tips for Summer Days BY sgf-adminTAGS

 

 

As the weather gets warmer, many families will start to spend more and more time outdoors. During a pandemic, one of the upsides of being outside is that with fresh air and more space between people, risk of catching the virus goes down. One of the downsides is that, as more people share space in the outdoors, social distancing may become more difficult. Here are some tips on how to safely enjoy warm summer weather with your family while minimizing your risk.

Avoid crowded spaces. While many of our parks and trails are open in Springfield, several are popular enough that the parking lots, trailheads, and restrooms can present a high risk of inadvisable contact with others. Seek out quieter spots, such as a path around your own neighborhood. You’ll also want to keep your group small, contained to just yourself and your household. Consider calling friends or extended family on the phone and virtually walking together if you want a more socially engaging walk.

Be sure to wear your mask while outdoors. The virus can be contagious for up to two weeks before any symptoms show up, but wearing a mask can keep those who may be unknowingly carrying the virus from spreading it. The exception to this is outdoor exercise like biking or running. Currently, there is no compelling medical reason to wear a mask while walking, running, or cycling, if you are maintaining proper social distancing of six feet between individuals from different households. However, you might consider wearing your mask around your neck so you can pull it on to be courteous when you’re passing others.

Stay close to home whenever possible. Take advantage of the warm weather to cook outdoors, start a garden, toss a frisbee or baseball with your kids. As restrictions are beginning to lift, you could even have neighbors or family over in your yard or driveway, so long as you maintain wear your masks, maintain six feet of distance, have your guests stay outdoors the entire time, don’t share food or utensils, and keep your hands clean.

While we’re not able to go back to the old normal or stop following social distancing parameters yet, warmer weather offers more opportunities for fresh air, exercise, and new ways of socializing. We at the Springfield-Branson National Airport are looking forward to some beautiful weather here in the Ozarks this summer and eagerly await the opportunity to safely serve as your connection to beautiful weather all over the world again.

 

 


May 26 2020 Tips for Safer Essential Air Travel BY sgf-adminTAGS

 

 

While restrictions are currently lifting around the country, many would-be travelers are opting to stay close to home, to minimize risk and spread during the coronavirus pandemic. However, some air travel is unavoidable due to extenuating circumstances, such as the needs of one’s extended family, or work-related obligations. Here’s how to mitigate risk and stay as safe as possible when travelling by air during the pandemic.

To protect yourself and others, continue the same practices you’ve been advised to follow while grocery shopping or attending to other essential business.

The good news is that most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes. Most aircraft used by U.S. airlines use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration systems. "This type of air filter can theoretically remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns," the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says. "Particles that are larger or smaller are trapped with even higher efficiency."

However, you do want to be wary of respiratory droplets on surfaces. Masks can protect you from spraying your fellow passengers with droplets if you cough or sneeze and can also protect your mouth and nose from the droplets of others. All major U.S. airlines, including American, Delta, and United airlines, now require employees and passengers to wear face coverings during flights except when eating or drinking. Be sure your hands are clean when putting the mask on and taking it off, and always wash or sanitize your hands after removing your mask.

You should continue to wash or sanitize your hands frequently as well, after touching surfaces frequently touched by others, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and before touching your face or eating. Bring hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and be sure to cover all surfaces of your hands and rub your hands together until they feel dry.

While many planes currently have fewer passengers than usual, social distancing could be difficult on crowded flights, and you may have to sit near others (within 6 feet), sometimes for hours. This may increase your risk for exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. Try to maintain a distance of two rows from your fellow passengers whenever possible. You can also reach up and turn on the adjustable air duct above your head, known as a gasper. Turn it to a medium flow and angling it so the air current is directed slightly in front of your face. By turning the gasper on, you might be able to add some turbulence to the air in your space. Modeling studies have shown that opening the gasper for additional air flow creates some extra turbulence in your personal air space and that might create enough turbulence where particles from other passengers are unlikely to land on your mask or on your arm.

We understand that some air travel is essential and we’re proud to continue to make air travel from Springfield easily accessible to those who need it. We look forward to a time where air travel for leisure is safe again and the Springfield-Branson National Airport can continue to serve as your connection to the world.