NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Last summer’s travel at the airport was practically at a crawl, but now TSA officials say it’s returning to normal levels.
“We are pretty closely approaching 2019 passenger numbers,” said Deputy Executive Director at Norfolk Airport Authority, Steve Sterling.
Norfolk International Airport (ORF) reported a 254% increase in passenger activity for the month of June 2021, with 331,990 passengers. Last June, the airport saw 93,725 passengers.
TSA’s Lisa Farbstein says this new normal also brings a different type of flyer.
“Business travelers are using zoom and web x and teams to do their business meetings, but we’re seeing more leisure travelers, people who have been home a year and can not stand being in the living room anymore,” said Farbstein.
Besides the fact masks are still required at the airport until mid-September, there have been new changes in what you can bring on board.
TSA is now allowing travelers to bring one liquid hand sanitizer up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags.
You can also bring the jumbo container of sanitizing wipes or individual ones.
“Just like the CDC we are encouraging people to wash their hands regularly,” said Farbstein.
TSA Federal Security Director, Chuck Burke says it’s not just about what you can bring now, but what you can’t.
“We are seeing a lot more prohibited items, and what I mean by prohibited items is large liquids,” said Burke.
To reduce touchpoints, it’s recommended travelers place items from their pockets into their carry-ons instead of into the bins.
Security officers are also doing what they can to stop the spread.
“They will change their gloves between every pat-down, you can also ask them to change their gloves whenever you feel uncomfortable,” said Farbstein.
Above all else, because of all these adjustments, make sure you get in on time. TSA officials say their advice is 90 minutes before boarding.
If you need a quick reminder of these changes, you can go to tsa.gov.