Some of the country’s busiest airports closed meeting points, gates and corridors in the past month to counter a massive drop in travel during the Corona virus pandemic.
Airport officials say the cuts are becoming a cost-saving measure as airlines cut flights and federal officials urged Americans not to travel internationally.
There is currently no federal ban on domestic air travel. However, several states have issued orders to stay at home or shelter in place.
Images of semi-empty stations and aviation cabins were also shared on social media.
One of the biggest closings at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport occurred when it closed all gates in two halls this week in response to reduced air traffic.
“With passenger activity declining, McCarran officials are constantly assessing the airport’s infrastructure and operations to determine ways to maximize efficiency and implement cost-saving measures,” officials said in a press release on Wednesday.
Other countries are also taking strict measures.
A London Heathrow airport spokesperson said he is temporarily moving to one runway that starts on April 6. The airport plans to change its runway weekly.
The spokesman added that while the airport is experiencing fewer flights, Heathrow will remain open so that it can continue its role in providing medical goods and food to the nation during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Major airports have also merged TSA checkpoints along with reduced staff for efficiency due to the smaller number of passengers. In addition, some airline ticket counters have been closed.
Here is a look at more specific actions taken at some of the country’s major airports.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport closed one of its runways to allow airlines to stop unused aircraft there. The airport also closed local TSA checkpoints north and south, and all travelers crossed the main local checkpoint.
Officials at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest airport in the country, said flights fell 60% from the daily average.
Airport spokeswoman Elise Durham said in an email that the airport has about 2,700 people arriving or departing on the regular day, but there are now about 1,100 people.
Heath Montgomery, a spokesman for global airports at Los Angeles International Airport, said that Delta Airlines integrates all operations from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2, and United Airlines is discussing possible mergers in its buildings.
San Francisco International Airport merged all flights in the international terminal into one terminal until the end of May.
Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport closed eight TSA checkpoints, and American Airlines closed ticket counters in Terminals A and C.
In Phoenix, Sky Harbor Airport expects a 50% drop in flights in May for American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, two of the best airlines.
“April continues to witness daily cancellations as airlines have not had the opportunity to officially change schedules in advance,” airport spokeswoman Krishna Patel said.
The airport closed security checkpoints B and D in Terminal 4.
Denver International Airport closed the northern TSA barrier and directed travelers to the southern checkpoint.
At Chicago O’Hare International Airport, air traffic control operations were merged into one Federal Aviation Administration tower. Two runners are closed.