Here are some highlights from last Monday’s Metropolitan Airports Commission meeting:
- Beating Governor Walz to the announcement by a couple of days, MSP will be requiring face coverings, i.e. masks, effective Monday, July 27. The Governor announced a statewide mandate to take effect on the 25th.
- Air travel is slowly recovering, with slowly being the keyword. While COVID19 continues to spread across the U.S., some people have returned to the skies. The airport is seeing about 25% of the number of travelers for the same time period last year, but that’s way better than the 95% reduction experienced in April.
- Around 250 daily flight departures are now taking place, with some hope for continued growth in August. Again, much depends on COVID19 as well as the comfort level of primarily leisure travelers. Business air travel is expected to be depressed for months, if not a few years, with businesses adapting to having as many employees as possible work remotely from home. The uptick in flights has been quite noticeable above my home in St. Louis Park, as 10L and 10R arrivals both pass overhead while on final approach to MSP.
- There are now 139 routes being served from the airport, up from just 91 in May. Of course, all of the routes are domestic as U.S. visitors are not permitted in Canada, Mexico or the European Union.
- 90 shops and restaurants remain closed between the two MSP terminals, with 40 now open. That’s 16 more that have opened since mid-May.
- The MAC reminds travelers that their “Travel Confidently” program is designed to protect fliers and airport employees, and has been a great success. It includes a “robust cleaning program,….floor decals and other signage to encourage social distancing,….and hand sanitizing stations throughout both MSP terminals”. Pre-booked parking on the airport’s website allows for touchless entry and exit from parking ramps via the use of QR codes.