The San Angelo Regional Airport prepares for a potential passenger traffic increase


The C.D.C guidelines require passengers to continue wearing masks and practice social distancing.

SAN ANGELO, Texas – As the country slowly reopens, travel restrictions have eased the past few months giving citizens the green light. The San Angelo Regional Airport is preparing for a passenger traffic increase.

“It’s slowly picking back up, the national average of the load factors are about 50 percent,” San Angelo Regional Airport director Jeremy Valgardson said. “We’re still down about 80 percent in enplanements from this time last year. The good thing about San Angelo is our passenger enplanement levels are up to about 80 to 85 percent. So our jets are filling up a lot faster than the national average.”

The main message Mathis Field and every airport nationwide provides includes the continuation of following C.D.C guidelines.

“When you fly, you get up in a jet and you’re stuck in a tube and up in the sky with a bunch of other people and you don’t know they’re condition,” Valgardson said. “The C.D.C guidelines have put up some stuff on airports, on airlines and on T.S.A. The whole spectrum of your travel experience, we have guidelines on how to keep an aircraft clean.”

With more passengers entering planes, there will be an increased demand of flight crew members and aircraft sanitation.

“One thing that they’re doing is they’re wiping the aircraft down before and after each flight with the C.D.C recommended cleaner,” Valgardson said. “Most airlines are using an electrostatic disinfection system, so after it’s clean they’ll go through and they’ll spray the disinfectant in and that’s happening in San Angelo.”

Although the overall travel experience is different this year, Mathis Field will continue to keep everything steady for passengers and employees.

“The travel experience is changing,” Valgardson said. “Airports are always congested, or wherever you go they’re congested and so we’re tasked with trying to keep that congestion a little more clear. So we can get people in through security, onto the jet, off of the jet, collecting their bags out of the airports and try and maintain that physical distancing.”

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Current status of COVID-19 testing in San Angelo