NEW ORLEANS – Today, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) launched MSY Travel Ready,a strategic and comprehensive plan that outlines the precautions the airport and its partners are taking to provide a safe and healthy travel journey. This plan is a coordinated effort to adapt airport facilities and operations based on CDC and other health expert recommendations to protect passengers and employees against the spread of COVID-19 and other germs during their time at the airport.
The airport, airlines, concessionaires, and other partners are working together to implement new practices that safeguard passengers and employees against the spread of COVID-19 during their time at the airport. These efforts include facility updates such as installation of signage that promotes healthy practices such as physical distancing of at least six feet and proper hand washing, physical barriers that provide a shield between the public and workers, and frequent sanitization of high touch areas.
Although many flight operations have been significantly impacted in the wake of COVID-19, airlines continue to operate at MSY as the State of Louisiana and City of New Orleans begin to reopen business. Overall, we estimate that passenger activity is down 90 percent for the month of June compared to the same period last year, which is similar to what other airports are experiencing across the country. At this time, domestic flights are operating, but all international flights have been suspended.
Facility and operational updates passengers can expect to see when they travel include:
PHYSICAL DISTANCING MARKERS
- Signage throughout the public spaces in the terminal encourages people to maintain at least six feet of separation between themselves and others.
- Floor decals encourage proper physical distance between those waiting at ticket counters, queuing lanes, TSA checkpoint, concessions and in baggage claim.
- Markers and signage in seating areas that promote physical distancing.
- Occupancy limits on elevators.
- Plexiglass barriers are being installed at several airline ticket counters, gate hold podiums and other key locations to provide a shield between the public and employees.
FACILITY CLEANING AND SANITIZATION
- Airport janitorial staff is using EPA-approved chemicals to conduct additional cleanings and sanitization, especially in high touch areas such as hand rails, door handles, TSA bins, seating areas and other hard surfaces.
- Airlines, concessionaires and other tenants continue to clean and sanitize their spaces regularly per their expanded corporate guidelines.
- Hand sanitizing stations are strategically placed throughout the terminal. The airport has added 30 more hand sanitizing stations for a total of 40 airport-wide. Locations can be found by using keyword “hand sanitizing station” in the search bar on the facility map on our website.
- Passengers are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings or masks throughout the terminal.
- All employees that interact with the public will wear a face covering or mask.
- Many airlines are requiring ticketed passengers to wear a face covering throughout check-in, boarding and during the flight.
Many airlines are taking the following additional steps to ensure passengers can fly healthy:
- Requiring face coverings.
- Using robust High-Efficiency Particle Filter (HEPA) filtration systems to clean air of contaminants and bacteria.
- Sterilizing aircraft with electrostatic sprayers and foggers.
- Sanitizing counters, kiosks and gate areas.
- Disinfecting surfaces like arm rests and seat buckles.
- Reducing touch points like beverage service.
Passengers are encouraged to review their airline’s safety updates directly on the airline’s website before travel.
MORE TRAVEL READY TIPS
Passengers are also advised to take the following actions to further protect themselves and make their journey safer.
Passengers with Departing Flights
- Drive to the Airport in your personal vehicle and park in one of MSY’s convenient parking options located steps from the terminal or a short shuttle ride away: https://www.flymsy.wpengine.com/parking/
- Be prepared to wear a face covering at all times while at the airport. A face covering may include a non-medical mask, a scarf, a T-shirt or other fabric affixed over the nose and mouth.
- Use your smart phone to check in and download your boarding pass if possible.
- Always arrive at least 2 hours before your scheduled departure to allow yourself enough time to check in, process through security and get to your flight on time.
At the TSA Security Checkpoint
- Be prepared to adjust or remove your face covering briefly in order to allow the TSA officer to verify your identification.
- Wash or sanitize your hands before and after using the TSA checkpoint.
- TSA is currently allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per person, in carry-on bags. Hand sanitizer will need to be screened separately.
- Travelers are now required to remove food from their luggage and put it through the scanner in a clear plastic bag to help minimize TSA officer contact with food items.
More information on TSA security protocols can be found here: www.tsa.gov/coronavirus
- While many airport concessions have closed or have reduced hours due to the decline in passenger traffic, there are still many options for passengers to pick up food or purchase retail items. Moving forward, the airport will continue working with concessionaires for a phased reopening of restaurants, stores and lounges as traffic increases so we can meet the needs of passengers.
- In the gate seating areas, remember to keep 6 ft. of physical distance between you and other passengers.
- When it’s time to board, listen to your flight crew and staff. Each airline has its own policies and procedures, so listen to the announcements to ensure you are following the new protocols.
Continued coordination between airlines, tenants, and companies that operate at the airport is essential to achieve a safe environment for the travelling public and employees at the airport. We all have to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19. MSY encourages travelers to adhere to CDC guidance for protecting yourselves and others.
For MSY Travel Ready updates, visit our website at www.flymsy.wpengine.com/travelready and follow us on social media on Twitter and Instagram @flyneworleans.