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Travelers flock to Indy airport during NCAA Tournament, spring break

Posted at 8:25 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 20:26:01-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA Tournament and spring break are bringing back travelers to the Indianapolis International Airport.

Officials said more passengers are expected over the next three weeks than at any time during the pandemic.

The busiest day here at the airport during the pandemic so far is supposed to be this Saturday. Officials are expecting 13,500 people to come through TSA and add upwards of 50% of passengers are back.

“It was a ghost town and it’s nice to kind of walk-in now see people out there,” Aaron Batt, Federal Security Director covering Indiana, said.

Indianapolis Airport Authority Executive Director Mario Rodriguez said thanks to strong reserves and planning the airport did not have to lay off any employee.

“I want to caution everybody because you’re going to see a spike," Rodriguez said. "But this is because everybody is flowing through the airport right now, it’ll come down and level out.”

Batt said things will be different. Masks, plastic barriers and personal protective equipment are now all part of the traveling process. The security director added there is new equipment like ‘credential authentication technology,’ which is a touch-less process that checks ID.

Rodriguez added the airport is constantly doing “airport grade cleaning,” and has on hand thousands of masks for travelers to use, as well as hand sanitizer stations.

“As people get vaccinated and people feel more comfortable as things open up, life goes on,” Rodriguez said about travelers coming back.

The advice both TSA and airport officials have for travelers is to be cautious and courteous.

As for a return to normal, Rodriguez said he predicts that will be “way after 2024.”