RDU announces changes to protect passengers during Phase 2
The CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority announces new changes intended to protect passengers and prevent the spread of illness and touches on the economic impact the coronavirus has had at RDU.
Yes. All right, Good morning. My name is Mike Lang, and I am the presidency of the Raleigh Durham Airport Authority. I like to talk with everybody this morning about the global pandemic and the impact it's had on the airport and what we're doing to ensure that our customers can actually travel through are you safely and with confidence. Let's start talk Live about the new landscape. Were experiencing from trouble Stand. As you know, demand has dropped dramatically since March, when they began and stay at home order to actually put into place. Memorial Day weekend typically is the start of our summer season. Typically, that period of time, you would see this facility packed with people. You can see what it looks like today. There's a significant difference between what it looked like last year. What it looks like this year. The number of passengers flying already plummeted by 96% for the same time period one year ago. Only 40,000 passengers action flew through art in April. Put that in perspective. Last year on a given day, we would do 40,000 customers a day. We did 40,000 customers in 30 days, significant downturn in terms of overall passengers. So for the month of April, we saw a 96.5% reduction in overall customers coming through this facility. And I would tell you, this is a consistent story in here all across the country, airports not only domestically but airports all across the world. They had significant impacts. Result of customers not traveling are youse. Airline partners continue to make a week to week schedule adjustments we've seen for the month of May. Capacity is down by 83%. They have taken 83% of the seats out of the market and for the month of June. Right now we're seeing 70% of the seats taken out of the market as well. I would caution you to look too far beyond the June schedule because these things have a tendency to be a week by week type of decision for the carriers and if demand starts to pick up, they'll start adding capacity back in the system. But for right now, what we can tell you is through the month of June, down by 78% you can imagine we are dependent upon customers coming through the front door to drive all of our revenue strings. So whether it is parking operations, it is the airlines. It is relative cars with a 96% reduction. Overall, customers has had a significant impact on overall funding. We have done some cost cutting measures from a parking operation standpoint. We consolidate our parking operations. So both economy four Country three and Park Express have all been closed, and we're all consolidating all of our parking operations to the terminal parking structure right between terminal to Terminal One. That being said, we still only have about 5% utilization of the debt, so you can see there's still a significant reduction in overall customers. Our shopping dining sales are down by more than 90% year over year. On that is a very similar trend that we're actually seen from the car business. Well again, if you're down 96% from a customer standpoint, you're gonna have a similar downturn from food, beverage and retail and also rental car. When we began our budgeting process, we smiting to the board of directors separate 28 a $300 million program including capital and operating expenses, by the time we reached April 1, just 30 days later, Way had stripped out $150 million out of our program. About $110 million of that wound up being our capital programme. And most of not all of that has been put on a temporary pause. And we hope that is temporary. Has any kind of move forward. That is really a survival budget. That survival budget would do a couple things. It will pay for the debt service obligation we've got. It'll pay for our staff. It'll pay to keep kind of the lights on pay for insurance in basic services that we need to continue to run the airport and prepare for our customers. Now let's talk about the actions were taken to restore confidence in air travel. Health and safety of everyone at the airport is our top priority. Today we're announcing new measures aimed at protecting our guests during after the Corona virus pandemic. Passage will see changes in how the airport operates when they travel to argue, including enhanced cleaning for most promoting and maintaining six feet of physical distancing, and recommending that customers, passengers and tenants all wear face masks when they're actually in these facilities. Changes pastors should expect include more frequent cleaning and disinfecting of common areas, including bathrooms and high touch points, such as ticket counters in chaos are cleaning practices comply with guidance from the CDC, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and the North Carolina Department of Labor. In keeping with those best practices for public facilities, Way are also doing more detail cleaning and disinfecting throughout the terminals. Products proven the effective against viruses including Kobe, 19. We have placed dozens of hand sanitizers throughout our entire facilities. I think we've got about 80 or 90 more that are on back order. We hope to get those. Hopefully, in the next two weeks, we will deploy those just as quickly as possible. Our customers have access to that way. Also have new physical and digital signing and the ticketing and waiting areas, security checkpoints and baggage back to their cells, which remind customers customers remain appropriate distances. We also have intercom announcements running into remind customers of public health best practices throughout today. Also, look at all the checking locations right now, you can see that we've already installed sneeze guards they're being installed not only ticket counters but the information desk at the baggage service offices downstairs and also at all the eight counter. So customers should see that already being installed. Right now, we're putting out new Stan Shins stage in science and technique. Lobby boarding cues on concourse to encourage physical. This is one way directional flow as well as floor stickers, baggage clean and seat covers in the gate. Full rooms, most appropriate distancing. So if you see the stances that are behind me, we will put little toppers on that has a little sign will give information to the customer. I'm not reminded him to wear face masks, also denying them about social distancing. Given additional information, it's really kind of an eye level, so they don't always have to look down on the floor. Trying. Easiest possible. Transmit that information. Some of the new measures at the airport are visible now, and the rest of these we expect to be actually big place by the end of June already recommends that everyone where face minutes covering in the terminal. However, many airlines have adopted new recommendations and even a new requirements that pastors wear face masks, coverings, and I would highly recommend all of our customers. Make sure you go to the airline's website before you walk out that door. This is a very evolving issue, and requirements that the airlines are putting into place to make sure that it's safe for customers to fly is constantly updated is they find things that are improvement. They're gonna start putting those things into place. So again, we need to stress that customers need to go to the website. Make sure they have most current information about what the requirements are. If you want to fly. Pastures currently do not have to complete a health screening or have their tempter check wind flying through, are you? We will comply with all health and safety precautions the federal government puts in place. I think it's important. Health screening measures, including tempter checks, are backed by medical evidence and performed by federal government officials. Those of those who have the expertise wear not medical experts already requires airport workers to self monitor and state home. If you have symptoms or a fever and many of our business partners in part saying of their employees again, we're trying to get our employees do. Their own tipped checking home must also look with symptoms of the virus. Or, if they're even sick, please stay home. We're encouraging them to stay home so we don't get any of our customers. Also, beginning June 1st 2 airlines will be the first airline to implement temperature screening for all passengers on airline employees prior to boarding their flights. Again, you can see how rapidly this is actually changed. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will be denied boarding on Frontier Airlines. Guess driving to your report will be glad to know we have a contact list process from a parking standpoint. And so we have an online reservation system with that online reservation system. You can actually book your parking online, and when you book your parking online, you can actually enter your license plate. So when you come to our gate, we have a license plate recognition software who will identify that you've already paid for your parking. You won't even have to roll your window down. The gate will pop up. You can go in and park when you leave, it will recognize your license plate again. That gate will pop up and you can drive right out, and we will electronically send you your receipt. So it's a great service that we have for our customers to try to make that contact less meeting. You don't have to touch anything on seamless in frictionless. We have a great experience for our customers. Make it very easy to get in out of this facility. Of course, there are credit card scanners at every entry explained. Allow guests to pay with your mobile APS and our pay on foot. Chiasso allow guests to pay their smart phones and watches, especially as they exited, go towards term. And finally we're gonna be conducting capacity analysis and the terminals determine what space constraints may result from distancing guidelines. For example, if you look right behind me, this security checkpoint as we designed it, it was designed to handle about 357 people at one time. If you start looking at social distancing requirements, that would probably be reduced down to 100 people. Seems start to see if you start deploying that concept throughout this facility. There's a lot fewer customers that can come into this facility as you start returning to normal operations without having an impact regarding that social distancing. But those are the things were starting to look at and planning for as our customers start to return. I know I've talked a lot at this point time, but what I want to do right now is I want to open up for questions that I'm sure everybody's got lots of questions. So yes, ma'am, I'm are I'm going right so way never asked any of the concessionaires actually close when you're down 96% I will tell you Terminal two were only pushing about 800 people through this facility. It makes it very difficult for a concessionaire to actually make it work. I will tell you had some very positive conversations with concessionaires that have communicated to us. They want to reopen on, make sure those amenities available for the customer. That is a challenging situation right now. And we're doing the best. We possibly can provide services to our customers, secure capacity for sporting that sort of thing. What's the plan? If things get really busy this summer, you've got more than 100 people that need to get Could you repeat the question one more time about the capacity has going from 300 to 100. What's the plan for the overflow? Right. So first, let's talk about what we see in terms of overall forecast, currently sitting at 96% down, currently seeing 83% of seats taken out. Also seeing 78% of seats taken out in the month of June, I will tell you this will be a slow road to recovery. I believe it's gonna take a little while. I hope that that is a problem we have to deal with very rapidly. But a lot of our projections are, for example, this year we think by the time we get to the end of the year, way could and again, this forecast as of today, at what time 10 28 on the 21st way have done about 20 different forecasts this point time. But most current forecasts of God is about five million. Total customers for the year waited 14.2 million customers in 2019 so that is a significantly reduced number of customers coming through. I think customers want confidence when they get to come to these facilities that could be safe. That's why we're going to the SPECTRE effort to put all these things in place to make sure we're also encouraging people to wash their hands as well. They could also be part of the solution you're starting to see. Airlines are making significant investments in that space to get confidence traveling customer. There are two challenges out there, I think the confidence of the customer from a health standpoint and the overall economy. But we're gonna do everything we can to be prepared for those types of things, and that's why we're doing a capacity analysis to determine how we would handle those types of things. I believe we have a little bit of time prepare for that concession years since their businesses so far down right now. So at this point time, we're looking at the contract and understanding the terms conditions. We've also looked what we call the cares at funding. So the care Zach funding was funding. We've received $49.5 million worth of funding. If you apply that to our original budget of 300 million, that's only about 17% when you apply to the emergency budget. It's only about 1/3 wear trying to determine is the federal government provided those funds were paying for debt service and a large portion that debt service is not paid by a lot of concession years so they wouldn't get any credit for cares that funding and the remaining balance that funding goes to pay for staffs were trying to actually calculate what that would be valued at. And we're looking at that. We're also trying to figure out what that long term recovery plan looks like. I will tell you that if you listen to some of the stories that you and other reporters across the country talk about from a food and beverage standpoint outside the airport arena, they talk about a 30% bankruptcy and failure of those types of companies way don't know what it looks like here. We're trying to figure out what the new normal looks like. You can see it five million customers and we had 14.2. That is a very challenging environment for anybody to operate, whether it's concessionaires, rental cars, airlines, it's gonna be something we're gonna have to deal with everybody we don't have a perfect solution right now, but we're trying to work on the process right now. Is it? Is it? This is a toughness as it is close to touch you. So I think the parking operation is a frictionless touchless. At this point, time will tell you we've got multiple teams are looking at. What's the new future of this airport? Need to look like in airports across the country, for example, we have a team. I'm looking behind you and I see a bunch of chaos. There is one of our providers has got a touchless chaos. It's a facial recognition, very similar. To have an apple phone you got official recognition is something very similar to be deployed you could see through screening process you could see through check in. Airlines are looking at, and I know Delta has been a leader in that space looking a facial recognition for check ins. You don't have to touch anything to the customer whether or not they wanted to opt in or not. I think TSA I think themselves Customs and Border Patrol CBP. All those federal agencies are looking at that to try to figure out if we could make this entire experience from a frictionless process we already have, from parking to the check in process, the infraction list and touchless to going through screening and then coming back either from an international standpoint domestically, I think everybody across the country is looking at those solutions. From a technology standpoint, I think we're close, but there's more work to be done. But we do have teams behind seen working on that right now. Take two more questions. Another outlet? Yes, sir. Everybody way have. The price in the central lot was $15 a day. We reduce that down to $10 a day on a Z. We start to look at what recovery looks like. Well, then try to figure out that was an emergency move that we did early in March. We're just trying to let the dust settle around us, try and understand what our new environment is, So we're gonna continue to look that figure out where that probably needs to be longer. So again, right now, this point, we believe a national policy on wearing face covering should come from the federal government. It makes it confusing for the customers if they come in our facility and we recommend that you wear and you wear and flying to another facility, and they may not require it. I think it's a little confusing. So we have as a trade organization. Airports across the country really reach out to federal government, recommending that this becomes a federal policy in encouraging them to put something in place. There's a consistent message wear recommending highly that people actually wear face way. We're not going to police people Way would simply ask them to consider the impact they have on others during these very difficult times and encourage people highly to wear that mask wire. And this is what we're asking. So working with our concessionaires, I believe our concessionaires have the ability. I think they have it in stock at this point time. I know some of the carriers airlines are going to provide that Two individuals that don't have it way have also talked with some federal agencies. Federal agencies have kind of talked about potentially providing those don't know how that would work. How would be deployed or just distributed. But yes, those types of conversations we're having right now regarding people wearing masks. All right. Thank you guys. Appreciate it, but yeah. Okay. Yes. No