17:56 PM

TPA Ready Update: As Florida restrictions ease, TPA sees increase in May passengers

As Florida enters Phase 1 in its “Safe. Smart. Step-By-Step.” plan to re-open businesses such as gyms and vacation rentals, Tampa International Airport has noticed a slow but steady increase of passengers.

While still a far cry from the usual 70,000 to 80,000 daily passengers traveling through TPA this time of year, the Airport saw nearly 9,000 passengers this past Sunday – a significant increase after it had around 2,500 to 3,000 daily passengers during April. While the official May passenger numbers will not be determined until airlines report them in June, the terminals have been noticeably busier in recent weeks, which is in line with what other airports are seeing around the country.

In the first 14 days of the month, close to 2.5 million people passed through checkpoints at U.S. airports, according to a CNBC report that cited the Transportation Security Administration. That’s up 63 percent from the same period in April.

Tampa International Airport has now installed a number of germ-preventing measures throughout the facilities as part of its COVID-19 “TPA Ready” plan which launched in late April. Along with 2,000 social distancing markers on the flooring and dozens of new hand sanitizers placed in key areas, all TPA employees are required to wear face masks in public-facing areas and employee areas where workers are in close quarters.

Passengers, too, are asked to wear masks, as some airlines now require them to board. For passengers who fo

rget essential items such as masks, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, TPA’s Main Terminal and Airside terminal newsstands carry them for sale. While supplies are in high demand, the vendors are committed to restocking as quickly as possible.

Because of social distancing modifications to both the lines and staffing, TSA screening checkpoint times could take longer than passengers are accustomed to at TPA. Because of that, all passengers should plan to arrive two hours prior to departure.

For more on TPA Ready guidelines and information, go to the Airport’s TPA Ready page.