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San Diego International Airport Is Seeing More Passengers, But Numbers Still Low

Passengers head to planes at the San Diego International Airport on June 24, 2020.
Erik Anderson
Passengers head to planes at the San Diego International Airport on June 24, 2020.

Passenger traffic remains dramatically low at San Diego’s largest airport, but there are indications some travelers are returning.

San Diego International Airport Authority officials are working to reassure a public worried about COVID-19.

The number of travelers moving through the airport is up about four times from mid-April when traffic bottomed out. Those who are coming back are getting a lot of reminders, like big signs on elevators.

Airport officials say it is all aimed at safety in the age of COVID-19

“We have the floor decals that also encourage social distancing,” said Jonathan Heller, Airport Authority communications director.

RELATED: With Few Fliers, San Diego Airport Struggling With Coronavirus Fallout

Video: Travelers Slowly Returning To San Diego Airports

Masks are required when people are indoors and nearly everyone complies. And there are plenty of stickers encouraging hand washing and social distancing.

“We understand that when you’re in the airport there are things that you have to touch,” Heller said. “Whether it’s a kiosk when you’re checking in or a handrail on the escalator. So we have our cleaning crews coming around on a constant basis cleaning all the high touch points.”

Passengers have been flying more, of late.

Social distancing sign on the floor at the San Diego International airport on June 24, 2020.
Erik Anderson
Social distancing sign on the floor at the San Diego International airport on June 24, 2020.

Airport passenger traffic was down 95% in mid-April because of COVID-19 related shutdowns. Current numbers are down 80% from a year ago, but that is an improvement.

Activity at ticket counters backs that up. Things are not crowded but there is steady traffic.

RELATED: San Diego May Not See Fast Rebound Of Air Travel

“We have approximately 30% of the flights we do in a normal month,” said Hampton Brown, the Airport Authority’s interim vice president for Revenue, Marketing and Innovation. “But airlines, like Southwest, continue to add capacity as they see booking patterns increase.”

Airport officials are also optimistic about surveys that show more passengers may becoming San Diego’s way because there’s pent up demand to visit the region’s beaches.

San Diego International Airport Is Seeing More Passengers, But Numbers Still Low
Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.