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Idaho Falls airport prepared for new normal

Idaho Falls Regional Airport

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-Idaho Falls Regional Airport has implemented a variety of new rules to protect travelers. 

All travelers are required to wear masks in the airport. Airlines are also requiring them and are handing out safety kits to passengers.  

Only ticketed passengers or rental car customers are being allowed inside the airport.  Visitors who are dropping off or picking up passengers are required to park in either short or long-term parking and must wait in their vehicles for a ticketed passenger.  There will be no parking allowed along the curbs outside the terminal.

Inside, plexiglass barriers are being installed at all airline and rental car counters. Cloth seating and middle bench seats have been removed.  The downstairs restaurant has been indefinitely closed.  Limited food service is available at the upstairs restaurant for passengers beyond security lines.

“We’ve been working very hard, along with the airlines, to meet or exceed the requirements we’ve been asked to implement to help make travel safer in this age of COVID- 19,” said IDA Director Rick Cloutier.  “Travelers will have to do their part as well, but travelers coming through our airport can feel confident that our staff are doing all we can to help keep passengers safe and healthy.”  The airport is regularly cleaning and sterilizing rails and surfaces and sanitizer stations have been installed.   Many airlines are changing boarding procedures and some are not selling center streets and staggering rows of seating to space out passengers.

Each aircraft is also sanitized by electrostatic machines that clean the interior of the plane after each flight.  

Cloutier said airport passenger numbers were up 10% from January and February over year-ago levels.  Since then, however, passenger levels have dropped by 93% from the same time period last year.

“We are confident that once these restrictions are lifted as we achieve more immunity or find a vaccine, we will see those numbers start to return to previous levels, so we want to be ready,” said Cloutier.  “It will take time for that to happen, and travel will definitely look different from what it was in the past, but we want to be prepared to meet those new demands and requirements, whatever they may be.” 

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