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Airports Prepare To Resume Flights As Economy ReOpens

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Most tourists come to Florida by sky. That’s why airlines are making sure they’re ready when businesses reopen. Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano says they’re prioritizing health and social distancing.

“We’ve reduced touch points by encouraging more mobile boarding passes,” Lopano said. “[We're] encouraging using carry-on luggage only, which reduces contact at the ticket counter and contact at the baggage claim. We’ve increased cleaning frequently.”

Lopano is requiring all airport workers to wear masks and have them available to sell to guests. He says the airport has reduced seating to encourage social distancing and is requesting all airlines to use every other gate to help keep passengers separated. Spirit Airlines CEO Ted Christie thinks with policies like these implemented in businesses across Florida, the state can again welcome tourists.

"We believe with a standardized set of policies and rules for the companies and municipalities hosting travelers in Florida, as well as clear expectations for the guests traveling into our state, we can create a message that can be marketed to the broader traveling public that Florida is committed to your safety and you can plan to enjoy a clean and seamless trip here."

Although airports haven't shutdown, the amount of people flying has been cut tremendously. Tampa International Airport has seen a 97% drop in business.

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Blaise Gainey is a Multimedia Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.