Air travel down at least 90% during COVID-19

NOW: Air travel down at least 90% during COVID-19

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Air travel has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Mitchell International Airport is no exception. Airport Director Brian Dranzik gave an update to county leaders on Tuesday, May 26 about its operations during the pandemic. 

Airport officials say air travel is down 90-97% during the pandemic, and the airport is receiving $29 million from the Federal Cares Act. 

Dranzik says as part of receiving that money, they need to maintain at least 90% of its employees. 

Dranzik says if things don't improve, that money will only last three to four months, and they made need to seek more federal money. 

Flights are significantly down. For instance, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have about three flights, and Southwest Airlines has about 13 flights a day. 

Dranzik says they have intensified cleaning, closed certain areas of the airport and they are working to improve social distancing. 

"I had the public health department walk through the faculty about two weeks ago with four public health inspectors and myself. I just realized the difficulties in some of the social distancing and how they would apply to the airport, because a faculty like this has never really been set up for that,” Dranzik said. 

So far, airport employees have not been required to wear masks, but officials say most of its employees don't interact with the public. 

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