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Sault airport boosting safety measures as flights set to return

Traffic is down more than 99 per cent this year
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Sault Ste. Marie Airport (Darren Taylor/SooToday)

As passenger service starts to ramp back up at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport, the facility’s development corporation said it is boosting safety to ensure the safety of travellers and employees.

In a June 5 news release, the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corp. noted that flights from Bearskin Airlines are increasing, and service with Air Canada Express is anticipated to resume on June 22.

To keep people safe, the airport is limiting the number of people who will be allowed to enter the terminal, starting on June 15.

That means “meeters and greeters” will not be allowed to accompany passengers who are arriving or leaving the airport, with the exception of companions to minors or those assisting people with disabilities.

The airport said the restriction will also apply to airport employees, who are being asked to maintain a two-metre distance between colleagues and passengers wherever possible and not to loiter in the terminal.

All passengers and airport workers will be required to wear a face covering at all times when in public areas of the terminal, which is in line with a directive issued by Transport Canada on April 20.

Additionally, cleaning and disinfecting will continue, along with other measures, including signage, physical distancing, hand washing, glass safety barriers at counters, and spaced seating.

“The airlines have done a great job in working to provide a safe travel experience,” said Terry Bos, the airport corporation’s president and CEO, in the release.

“The airport is stepping up to play our part in ensuring the entire travel experience is a safe one.”

Bos noted that just 132 passengers travelled through the airport in April and May, which marks a 99.6 per cent decrease in traffic from the previous year.

“It has been very operationally challenging the last couple of months with virtually no revenue stream in order to maintain the operation of the airport for emergency services such as medevac flights and water bomber activity," Bos said.

As a non-profit corporation that owns and operates the airport, the development corporation funds operational and capital costs through user fees, leases, car parking, and airport improvement fees.