Air travel starting to rebound as passenger numbers rise at BNA

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Posted at 9:03 PM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 23:38:46-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As Nashville continues to rebound from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are beginning to take advantage of the Summer travel season.

Officials at Nashville International Airport (BNA) say 8,500 passengers came through the airport each of the last two days. In June, there were about 6,000 departures a day.

While the numbers are climbing, officials said it is still a far cry from the 25,000 passengers a day at the airport this time last year. However, officials say it is encouraging to see an increase in travel since April, and they expect air travel will continue to rise in the weeks and months ahead.

BNA continues to follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting high traffic areas, and high touch surfaces at the airport. Restrooms are closed every two hours for cleaning and disinfecting, airline gate areas are cleaned often throughout the day, and ventilation systems are cleaned regularly, as well.

Masks are also available to travelers who forgot one, and hand sanitizer is located throughout the terminal. Signs are also posted throughout the airport reminding people to wash their hands and stay a safe distance from others.

Some travelers said, for the most part, people are taking steps to stay safe.

"I've seen people in full hazmat suits," said Desaepa Vansauwa, who was traveling to Arizona. "I've seen people with everything they own wrapped in plastic. People are taking precautions."

"I've been living life as I normally do," said Remington McBee, who was traveling to San Antonio, Texas. "I'm just trying to obey what people are asking me to do, and make them comfortable."

Others said airlines are taking steps to keep passengers a safe distance apart and safe.

"Southwest [Airlines] was really good," said Adam Shoemaker, who was traveling to Tampa, Florida. "They gave us wipes to wipe things down and we always carry hand sanitizer."

BNA officials said April was the slowest travel month since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 1,000 passengers came through BNA each day. April 8 was the slowest travel day with only 600 passengers screened by the TSA.