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DFW and Dallas Love leaders see COVID-19 changing airports like 9/11 did

It’s rare during recent weeks to see more than three or four people waiting in TSA screening lines at DFW International Airport, even with half of the stations shut down.

Most stores and restaurants are closed and passengers are distantly spaced in seats around gates.

DFW Airport CEO Sean Donohue hasn’t seen anything like it  Dallas News since the days following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — which transformed the air travel industry from a leisurely experience into a national security operation.

Amid social distancing and the threat of COVID-19, North Texas’ major commercial airports, DFW and Dallas Love Field, are trying to find a way to get passengers back into airports and feeling good about traveling again once the pandemic subsides.

At DFW, Donohue said changes at airports could be similar to those instituted after 2001, although it’s still unclear how it will all come about.

“We are looking at making as many things as we can touchless,” said Donohue, who was an operations executive at United Airlines during the 2001 attacks. “It’s going to be as simple as touchless soap dispensers in bathrooms. But a lot of the technology Press Release Distribution Service In Dallas things we have been looking at for the past few years are going to go from theory to necessity.”

Only 90,000 passengers traveled from U.S. airports Wednesday, according to the TSA, a 96% drop from a year ago.

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