SAN JOSE – Passenger travel via San Jose International Airport rose in May compared to April, and leading indicators point to further recovery in June, a sign that the Silicon Valley air hub is gradually recovering from coronavirus-related travel problems.
“We have seen an increase in the number of travelers in the past few months,” said Demetria Machado, spokeswoman for San Jose International Airport.
However, the number of travelers using San Jose Airport in May only makes up a small fraction of travelers in May 2019.
“We only welcomed about 6 percent of the passengers last May compared to May 2019,” said Machado.
In May, 79,600 people traveled through the San Jose airport, based on both departures and arrivals. That was 112 percent more than 37,600 who traveled through the airport in April.
Both months are well below the same months in the previous year.
May trips were 94 percent down from 1.36 million trips through the San Jose Airport in May 2019. April trips were 97 percent lower than April 2019 passenger trips, which were 1.3 million.
Business closures ordered by state and local government agencies and a decline in interest in air travel have led to a collapse in air travel worldwide.
The slump in air travel has also brought the hospitality and leisure sectors to their knees, triggering layoffs and vacation days in hotels and resorts around the world.
However, recently measured outbound flights through the TSA checkpoints at San Jose Airport point to another dramatic increase in air traffic.
Passes through the TSA checkpoints were 18,500 in April, 40,300 in May, and 88,600 in June.
TSA checkpoint exits to the gates and other secure areas at the airport are an incomplete barometer of airport activity. They also do not measure arrivals. However, TSA activity can serve as a leading indicator of what the official monthly report for passenger travel at the airport might look like.
In this case, TSA activity in June was more than double that of transit through the checkpoints in May.
“We are ready and waiting for those who choose to travel as we have implemented numerous health and safety measures throughout our airport to protect our employees and passengers,” said Machado.
Airport staff and managers as well as TSA staff constantly disinfect areas and modules with high and frequent contact, e.g. B. Conveyor belts at TSA checkpoints, trays for personal items, ticket booths and counters.
Plus, hand sanitizer and safety warnings like social distancing signs and reminders to wear masks are almost as ubiquitous as slot machines in a Las Vegas casino.
Airport workers make bespoke Plexiglass shields and hand sanitizer stations at the San Jose Aviation Center.
An estimated 330 security stickers have been placed in the complex, said Graham Ritz, airport operations director in terminal management.
The San Jose Airport custodians use an electrostatic sprayer on a daily basis to clean hard-to-reach areas. Below: spaces between seats and keyboards at ticket counters.
“When travelers are ready to travel, we are ready for them,” Machado said.