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Airport increases cleanings, free masks, adds glass barriers to fight COVID-19

Columbia Metropolitan Airport is making changes to help passengers feel safer during pandemic

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) is picking back up after being down almost 50% of departing flyers in 2020.

According to CAE, the first five months of 2019 saw almost 270,000 departing passengers while the first five months of 2020 only saw around 135,000.

The airport is beginning to pick up travelers as most of their non-stop destination flights are available again. 

New York City is the only one still not eligible for flyers.

“We have had a lot going on but obviously our priority is to make sure that the airport is safe so when our travelers are ready to travel, we are here and we are ready for them to come back," said airport spokesperson Lynne Douglas.

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A few of the safety precautions the airport has taken include increased hand sanitizer stations, more frequent cleanings of restrooms and high touch areas--such as handrails and countertops and glass barriers have been placed between flyers and staff.   

“We’ve always taken great pride in the cleanliness of our airport," Douglas says, "and certainly in this time with COVID, our cleaning crews have stepped up those cleaning procedures – we’re cleaning our restrooms every two hours… as our travelers continue to increase and come back, we’ll start cleaning those restrooms every hour.”

The airport is also offering free masks to flyers as they enter into TSA and at the information desk. 

Masks are not required in the Columbia Metropolitan Airport but you do need one to get on any of the airlines- American, United or Delta. 

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“And again, we want folks to return when they feel comfortable returning but know that we are doing everything we can by taking all those extra measures," Douglas assures.

The airport encourages travelers to continuously check on their flights online as the pandemic has caused schedules to often change.  

You can also visit their website for all of their updated information.