Tri-Cities Airport asks that people wait outside for passengers

Officials offer safety tips for traveling during the holidays

PASCO, Wash. — Holiday travel is historically a busy time. College kids returning home, grandparents flying in to visit, and family vacations to warmer places.

This year, however, is a little different. According to Tri-Cities Airport Director Buck Taft, this is the least amount of passengers he’s seen in the last 20 years.

“In November, which is generally one of the busier months of the year for us we were only at 56% of 2019 numbers so we are still way below our average for the year, for the day, for the week, however you want to look at it,” said Taft.

But while the numbers are still far lower than normal, safety is still extremely important in the time of COVID-19, especially in a place like an airport.

The Pasco airport is filled with face mask warnings, social distancing markers, and new plexiglass barriers in the security line.

But Taft is asking those who visit the airport to do away with the tradition of greeting your loved ones inside the airport, at least for now.

“If you’re meeting folks here, if you’re picking up passengers we prefer that you wait in our cell phone lot and then wait for your folks to call you, then you can pick them up on the curb,” said Taft. “That limits the amount of people inside the terminal.”