London International Airport performs upgrades during pandemic
LONDON, ONT. -- With almost no one taking to the friendly skies, the London International Airport is using the pandemic-related downtime to catch up on much needed improvement projects.
Airport president Mike Seabrook says the airport has just one flight per day, down from 40 per day.
“What we’re undertaking is a lot of projects that we couldn’t do, that would be very difficult when the airport is busy.”
Biggest on the to do list is replacing the tarmac on the north taxi-way. It amounts to about 40,000 tonnes of ashpalt, covering more than one million square feet.
Also getting a little TLC is the main parking lot, where the faded yellow lines are getting a new paint job.
Inside the terminal building, where there is nary a soul in sight except for a few staffers, walls are being repainted, and floors are being shined and sealed. Parts of the baggage screening system are also being upgraded.
Seabrook says the airport is holding off on changes to address physical distancing, at least for now. He says he's waiting on future regulations and policies that will govern how airports process passengers.
“As the market returns in hopefully July, August, and then through the fall there’s going to be changes for sure on how passengers are processed through an airport and the arrangements on aircraft. There’s a lot of discussion right now worldwide in the industry among airports, airlines, and policy-makers about how to do that.”
Seabrook says London International Airport revenue is down 75 to 80 per cent from $1 million to $1.2 million per month in normal times. Expenses have been cut by $500,000 per month. And further, eight people of the roughly 50 airport employees are on voluntary layoff.
Seabrook says there have been no COVID-19 cases among staff, or among any of the contract staff at the airport.