A part of Birmingham airport in the U.K. is being converted to a makeshift morgue to initially hold 1500 bodies but with plans to covert to 12,000 as the need arises. Existing storage capacity is expected to be overwhelmed, and staff transferred to the airport facility to handle the volume.
Category Archives for Airports.
With borders closing in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus, and national policies in some cases changing quickly, passengers are getting stuck in the middle. Most countries are giving some notice of their plans, allowing passengers to return home. But what if someone’s flight is cancelled? Or what if there’s confusion, and they were allowed to board a flight when they won’t be admitted at their final destination?
There are now several passengers stuck in transit at airports, not able to take their connecting flight because borders are closed at their destination, not able to enter the country where they’re transiting because of coronavirus restrictions, and possibly not even able to be returned to where their journey began.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has 1.5 million N95 masks sitting in an Indiana warehouse.
And after discussions about what to do with the masks on Wednesday, it was concluded that “CBP has no plans to offer the masks to hard-hit hospitals, or hand them over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency…” Instead those will be given to the TSA. And CBP will acquire 1.5 million masks to replace those, competing with orders placed by hosptials.
Singapore is implementing a ban on both short term visitors and transit passengers, starting Monday at 11:59 p.m. local time.
As of this writing Singapore has 432 confirmed cases. The city-state is doing a good job of containing the virus. A concern here is resources, having to identify, monitor and treat incoming cases when their health care system stretches thin.
TSA screeners are calling out from work by the hundreds, in a challenge that’s expected to get significantly worse, after the agency announced that screeners are now allowed to take paid time off, no questions asked under “weather and safety leave” if they feel at all uncomfortable reporting to work. In fact, it’s expected that thousands of screeners will begin calling out from their jobs.
The TSA has been saying that starting October 1, 2020 they are only going to accept IDs at security checkpoints that are compliant with a 2005 law that’s been getting kicked down the road for years. There are still a few states that aren’t issuing these IDs, and many people in states that are haven’t replaced their drivers licenses with new ones.
The prospect of turning away passengers from flying en masse never seemed plausible one month before the Presidential election. The October 1, 2020 deadline, which has been pushed off for years, inevitably will be pushed off again.
Now, with coronavirus, we know what excuse the Department of Homeland Security is likely to use.
The U.S. is limiting international travel and funneling it through a limited set of airports. That’s supposed to allow them to screen passengers better entering the country. Here the government is failing and making things worse.
The virus is already here and spreading. We don’t know how badly because we are keeping out foreign tests. Our solution to that appears to be keeping out foreigners and forcing everyone in close proximity to each other to encourage spread.
The TSA has relaxed its liquid ban to allow up passengers to bring up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer through security checkpoints, rather than the 3.4 ounces they typically permit.
Of course the larger limit for hand sanitizer calls into question why other liquids remain limited.
Last fall LAX banned taxis and ridesharing services from picking up passengers curbside. Passengers were bused to an off airport lot where they’d meet their ride. (The lot is actually an easy walk from the Southwest terminal 1.)
Initially after banning curbside pickups chaos ensued but after enlarging the lot and getting better signage the process wound up being merely inconvenient.
The TSA responded to one of my tweets, divulging personal information about me, and it’s a reminder of how much freedom we’ve given up in the name of a false sense of security.