15:39 PM

#TPAREADY Update: More shields, longer wait times

Major components of Tampa International Airport’s #TPAREADY plan are underway, and passengers and employees can expect to see a lot more plastic shields, social distancing floor markers and other changes over the next two weeks. The plan is designed to implement CDC and other health expert recommendations for helping to keep people safely distanced and protected from the spread of COVID-19.

Another development TPA has been experiencing: Longer waits in TSA checkpoint lines as passenger traffic begins to slowly increase. According to TPA Director of Operations Adam Bouchard, some airsides have seen increased congestion and slower-than-normal movement through security, causing some passengers to “cut it close and nearly miss their flights.” This is, in part, due to social distance slowdowns as well as there being less TSA lanes open to reflect the decrease in passengers. The Airport is working to mitigate congestion but asks that all passengers plan to arrive at least two hours before their scheduled departures.

Other updates this week:

  • Airport maintenance workers have added dozens of hand sanitizer dispensers and more are on the way, adding to the 70 existing dispensers throughout the Airport
  • American, JetBlue and Delta now have plastic shields up at their ticket counters; more will be installed at other airline counters in the next 7-10 days
  • Floor stickers can now be seen in key gathering areas, reminding guests and employees to maintain a safe, six-foot distance from others

While most employees throughout Tampa International Airport have been wearing face masks for weeks, the Aviation Authority is now mandating masks for all tenant employees beginning next week. The Airport is also strongly urging all passengers to wear masks when traveling through the terminals, which is consistent with several airline policies for passengers aboard aircraft.