Barnstable Municipal Airport Utilizing New Protocols and Procedures

The tower at Barnstable Municipal Airport.

HYANNIS – Barnstable Municipal Airport has remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but has felt an impact from the public health crisis.

“Just like any other business, we at the airport have also been impacted significantly,” said Barnstable Municipal Airport Manager Katie Servis.   

“In terms of not having the passengers that are coming through the terminal and with the stay at home orders it really affected a lot of businesses obviously across the United States but Cape Cod of course was touched as well.”

Though the airport was deemed an essential business, the pandemic has greatly reduced the number of passengers using public transportation.   

“When you look at the number of passengers coming into our terminal last year at this time and the number of passengers coming in now, we’ve had anywhere, depending on the day, between a 94 and 100 percent drop, which is significant for an airport, especially one of our size,” said Servis.

New protocols and procedures have been put in place to provide a safe environment for passengers and staff.

Precautions taken by the airport include making modifications in the terminal building that provide six foot clearances in front of counters for the airline and rental car companies, round the clock cleaning and disinfecting of the terminal building, and cleaning high touch surfaces on a regular basis.   

JetBlue, which was scheduled to come to the airport in May, will be arriving on July 1.

On July 2, Southern Airways Express will also be coming to Barnstable Municipal Airport.      

“We’ve looked at different ways in how we can allow for maintained social distance,” said Servis.  

“We are looking at modifications to make in the terminal to accommodate a larger aircraft like JetBlue at the airport. Whether that means we put in a temporary tent to allow for continued social distancing or to make some other changes within the terminal, we have been talking to JetBlue about how to proceed forward.”    

The airport has a total of 23 staff members across three departments: administration, operations, and maintenance.

To provide a safe environment for the staff, the airport staggered work schedules for the administration and maintenance departments.

Servis said this allowed for workers in these departments to only come to the airport one to two times a week and that the transition was seamless.

“We allowed for folks to work remotely and that actually worked out pretty well,” said Servis.

“All of our staff members were able to pay bills, get basically our essential business functions completed with really not too much of a worry or transition doing that.”

She added that the operations department, which runs 24 hours a day, continued their same schedule as it already allowed for employees to stagger shifts.

The airport did provide the operations department with PPE to allow employees to protect themselves.

“They were still operating business as usual, still fueling aircrafts but doing so with making modifications,” Servis said.  

“Not interacting with the pilots on a regular basis, doing everything digitally.”  

Servis noted that airport staff was able to step up and continue to provide functional service while changes were implemented.  

“All in all I have to say I am very proud of my staff because they transitioned into more of a digital world then we typically are ready for quickly and seamlessly,” Servis said.  

The airport is now focusing on transitioning to their “new normal” which will be in accordance with the states reopening plan.  

“We are starting to transition into our new normal,” said Servis.

“With looking at Governor Charlie Baker’s plans for reopening the state and looking at the phases of reopening the state even though we were open we still have to shift and mold and change to a new normal.”    

About Luke Leitner

Luke Leitner grew up in Watertown Massachusetts and now lives in West Yarmouth on the Cape. He has been a part of the news team in the News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.
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