While the pandemic has decimated the airline industry and reduced normally bustling airports to virtual ghost towns, Indianapolis Airport Authority Executive Director Mario Rodriguez says there are signs that the flying public is beginning to trickle back. “Things are starting to come back, slowly, and I caution everybody the operative word is slowly,” said Rodriguez, who adds a true recovery likely won’t begin until at least 2022.
The International Air Transport Association has said it doesn’t expect air travel to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024. Rodriguez says with a slight increase from holiday travel, 2020 will end at 40 to 45 percent of 2019 levels.
Rodriguez talked about the state of the airport and the airline industry on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
Rodriguez says the pandemic has presented an opportunity to make improvements and redouble efforts to keep the airport “hospital grade clean” to ensure customer safety and ease heightened concerns about cleanliness brought on by the pandemic.
Earlier this month, IAA was certified by Airports Council International with its Airport Health Accreditation, one of eight airports in the U.S. to receive the designation. The program assesses an airport’s compliance with new health measures and procedures, which include cleaning and disinfection, physical distancing, staff protection, passenger communications and facilities.