With a look towards what will probably be part of the future of aviation, the first airport-based testing site for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the United States has recently opened (it’s not akin to the testing a few airports have set up for those who have landed and the U.S. government wants to ensure passengers don’t have the virus).
The testing site is at John F. Kennedy Airport, in Terminal 4. According to a press release, The Port Authority teamed up with JFKIAT (they operate Terminal 4) and XpresSpa to launch the site.
(Holy Moley, remember when we had written XpresSpa has offered their facilities for testing, back in late March? It seems like forever ago. Good for them!)
There’s just one problem…the space is only for JFK workers. Specifically airline employees, contractors and workers, concessionaires and their employees, TSA officers, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.
“We are thrilled to launch our first pilot testing site at JFK Terminal 4, and we are hopeful that this will benefit airport workers,” said Doug Satzman, CEO of XpresSpa. “Together with JFKIAT and the Port Authority, we will support the safety and health of front-line airport workers and travelers as New York’s recovery plan takes form.”
My first question is, what took them so flippin’ long? XpresSpa made the offer back in March; it took them 3 months to get something set up? How many JFK workers have gotten COVID-10 in that quarter of a year and passed it along to their families, co-workers and airport passengers since then?
My second question is, what’s taking them so long to make such facilities, especially rapid COVID tests, available to passengers before they take off? Such places are already available in multiple all over the world – at Frankfurt, Prague and South Korea, just to name a few. If we as a country want to have more opportunities to travel internationally, we will undoubtedly need to have testing facilities in airports.
Oh wait, I just got my answer about the slowdown: A Port Authority spokesperson said that the agency is working with city and state health officials to determine what the next steps for coronavirus testing at the region’s airports will be. But added that the federal government has offered no guidance on setting up a program.
Because of course they haven’t.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary