NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The typically bustling Nashville International Airport has gone quiet during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Metro Nashville Airport Authority President/CEO Doug Kreulen said about 50% of flights have been cut from about 550 per day down to 266
He said the number of passengers went from roughly 61,000 per day down to a 4,000 daily average.
There are 66 businesses closed inside BNA and 12 remain open.
In the four months left in this fiscal year, Kreulen said the airport will lose about $40 million, so leaders are looking at cuts to make up for the anticipated loss.
“We have about 340 employees. In the last month I sent them eight or so different updates and that’s one thing I want them to understand is – we’re a strong organization although we’re going through some challenging times but we don’t plan on any furloughs, any layoffs,” Kreulen said.
He said they are expecting to get help from the state transportation equity fund and the CARES Act.
“Part of that relief package is 10 billion dollars to the airports. And we’re still waiting on the FAA to calculate how much Nashville will end up getting,” explained Kreulen.
In the midst of the economic downturn, several TSA agents at BNA tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Kreulen said employees who are sick stay home and the airport is following CDC guidelines.
“We do the social distancing, we limit meetings to no more than 10 people,” Kreulen said. “I would tell you if you want to come out to the airport, it’s the cleanest airport you’ve ever seen in your life. We have a new firm that’s doing all the cleaning for us now. They have foggers to make sure that the restrooms are sanitary and that all the seating areas are clean.”
There are about a dozen businesses currently under construction inside the airport and Kreulen said the construction projects have not been impacted by the pandemic.
“We borrowed money that we needed for all the construction in December so we sold $920 million worth of bonds and that is what’s funding the BNA Vision today,” Kreulen said.