As the air travel industry adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oakland International Airport (OAK) is taking steps to protect travelers and workers– both now and in the future. OAK has instituted a Resiliency Task Force to examine all aspects of the airport’s management and operations, both for short- and long-term sustainability.
OAK’s Resiliency Task Force convenes members of the airport’s operational teams to help minimize spread of COVID-19, encourage and plan for safe air travel, and establish comfort among travelers both now and in the future.
The Airport has addressed public health concerns since early March, when the Port of Oakland accommodated the berthing of a Princess Cruise Ship with COVID-19 cases aboard. OAK is owned and operated by the Port, and facilitated flights for the ship’s occupants. With the ensuing pandemic, OAK and its partners have taken numerous steps to adapt to the new realities of COVID-19.
The trade association representing North American Airports recently urged the U.S. government to adopt guidelines for the use of facial coverings by all individuals in the public areas of airport terminals. OAK has required the use of face-coverings since April 22, 2020, in accordance with the Alameda County Health Order. OAK is working with law enforcement partners to enforce applicable requirements and educate the public to ensure the safety of everyone at the Airport. TSA is not under Alameda County jurisdiction, and is not required to enforce the Order.
To date, OAK’s Resiliency Task Force has facilitated safety enhancement measures in compliance with CDC and Alameda County Public Health Orders, and is working toward additional adjustments, including:
- Installation of social distancing markers
- Safe queuing assistance for security checkpoint lines
- Plexiglass guards for Terminal 1 ticket counters, boarding gate counters, and Customs & Border Protection counters for international arrivals
- Adjusted gate, seating, and staffing plans to allow social distancing with the Terminals
- Temporary suspension of high-exposure operations while experiencing low activity volumes, including the airport’s taxi-stands, employee shuttle bus services, and operation of the Volunteer Ambassadors Program
- Adoption of new cleaning and disinfecting supplies and practices along with use of new supplies & equipment to assist in that effort.
OAK continues to evaluate safety measures for employees and passengers during the pandemic. Members of the public are encouraged to visit the Port of Oakland’s Coronavirus Blog for updates.