The Glendale Municipal Airport is preparing to return to full operations after scaling back because of the coronavirus, and the airport’s manager said it could happen as soon as mid-June.
The airport never closed but restricted some of its face-to-face business and saw many of its customers stay away. The airport does not service commercial flights, but services private pilots and pilot training. The airport saw an 11% drop in flights in April compared to the same month in 2019.
“We were ahead of schedule before all of the COVID-19 stuff hit,” Airport Manager Carl Newman said about the airports flight operations during an Aviation Advisory Commission meeting. “We still see plenty of flights by private pilots. A lot of the training activity though has waned as a part of this — the training activity as well as some of the corporate activity.”
One commissioner pointed out that, aside from people wanting to stay home because of COVID-19, the airport likely also lost some business because spring training was cut short by two weeks because of the coronavirus.
The airport has changed the way it does business during the pandemic. The airport’s administration office is closed to the public. Administrative staff has been working remotely via email, phone and the post office. Field staff continues its normal operations with physical distancing measures in place.
Mr. Newman said the airport is following city of Glendale guidelines for administrative staff, which says that people who can work from home should. He said that he anticipates around the middle of June, the city will allow “forward-facing” employees to come back to work.
“And we will follow suit, appropriately,” Mr. Newman said.
The airport is already preparing for the return of its administrative staff, installing protections such as screens between the employee and the customer.
“We want to make sure that they have the proper protective equipment before we bring them back and put them out there, so we’re working on that right now,” Mr. Newman said.