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Glacier Park International Airport institutes coronavirus precautions

Posted: 9:29 AM, Mar 18, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-18 11:30:42-04
GPIA Ticket Counter.jpg

KALISPELL — Concerns over the coronavirus have Glacier Park International Airport (GPIA) officials taking special precautions to protect travelers.

GPIA is taking extra safety precautions during the coronavirus outbreak, even separating their tables at their restaurant farther apart.

Airport Director Rob Ratkowski says this act of separation ensures travelers are practicing social distancing as the CDC is recommending putting distance between yourself and others to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Ratkowski says cleaning crews are sanitizing the airport aggressively and multiple times a day with a heavy disinfectant. He explained the disinfectant is different chemically and has less contact time with touchable surfaces, killing germs quicker.

But Ratkowski says because of the virus, the airport has seen a decrease in travelers.

"We started seeing about a hundred passengers a day drop. And so, for example, at this time last year, we might have seen about 700 passengers. We're seeing 600. It's a gradual decline, it's not a wholesale flee from air travel."

Extra hand sanitizers have been added around various parts of the airport and Ratkowski says there aren’t any additional health screenings or wait times at GPIA. Ratkowski noted the airport will update its sanitation protocol if necessary.