TSA, airline industry experts outline safety measure ahead of holiday travel

TSA, airline industry experts outline safety measure ahead of holiday travel

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A week away from what is normally one of the busiest travel times of the year and the Center for Disease Control warns Americans to stay home, yet some will still choose to hit the roads or take to the air.

“This year’s holiday season won’t be the travel boom that we usually experience... but it hasn’t changed our industry’s commitment to ensuring health and safety and security at our nation’s airports,” said Kevin Burke, President and CEO of Airports Council International-North America.

He and other industry experts outlined their safety measures going into next week.

One measure include signage inside the facilities, like these at Richmond International Airport, to encourage social distancing.
One measure include signage inside the facilities, like these at Richmond International Airport, to encourage social distancing. (Source: wwbt/nbc12)

David Pekoske, an administrator with the TSA, advises all passengers to wear masks, along with knowing the health rules of your destination. He adds that the TSA is working towards no-contact security checkpoints.

“In many airports around the country - but not all - we have a new tech that automatically reads a passenger’s identification documents, whether it’s their driver’s license or passport... and what that results in is more of a self-serve operation for passengers.”

And those safety measures follow you into the plane, which has its air filtered every 30 minutes by high-efficiency machinery known as “HEPA” filters, which are “hospital grade,” according to Nicholas Calio, President and CEO of Airlines for America.

But despite all the precautions, travel projections are still down, with AAA surveys showing that 84% of Virginians opted to have their turkey at home this year.

Still, experts say the choice to travel is up to each person, and the industry’s role is to keep them safe.

“We have always accepted a certain amount of risk associated with air travel, and that risk resides in that tiny, tiny space between ’99.99% safe’ and ’100% safe’. It’s in that very tiny space that we operate,” said Todd Haupti, President and CEO of American Associate of Airline Executives.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.