Washington establishes new airport requirements, airline recommendations

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Washington state officials said new commercial airport requirements and recommendations for airlines have been established to protect the health and safety of aviation workers, crews and passengers amid COVID-19.

The Commercial Service Airport Requirements recently unveiled by Gov. Jay Inslee revealed a statewide approach to the COVID pandemic. The guidance requires face coverings in the airport; signage and spacing for physical distancing; protective barriers between travelers and workers; sanitizer and disinfectant protocols; and that airport vendors and businesses follow state and county health agency requirements.

Inslee joined Max Tidwell, vice president of safety and security for Alaska Airlines; Tony Gonchar, regional vice president of Delta Air Lines; and Lance Lyttle of the Port of Seattle, which manages SeaTac Airport.

“The steps we’re taking will help protect those who need to fly,” Inslee said. “This guidance isn’t just about SeaTac — these requirements apply to airports across the state — Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Everett, too.”

The state’s guidance also encourages airlines to establish health screening questionnaires for passengers regarding potential COVID-19 exposure or symptoms and require passengers to abide by face covering and physical distancing requirements to be issued a boarding pass.

Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, and the Port of Seattle have each announced additional steps to protect the health and safety of airline passengers and staff.