U.S. grants tentative OK for 15 air carriers to suspend service to 75 airports

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Transportation Department said late on Friday it had granted tentative approval to 15 airlines to temporarily halt service to 75 U.S. airports because of the coronavirus pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop, at Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, U.S. December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

Airlines must maintain minimum service levels in order to receive government assistance but many have petitioned to stop service to airports with low passenger demand.

Both United Airlines (UAL.O) and Delta Air Lines (DAL.N)

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How TSA screening procedures are changing at airports

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A TSA officer wears a protective mask while screening travellers at Orlando International Airport. In the past 14 days across the nation, 58 TSA screening officers have tested positive for COVID-19, including 9 in Orlando.

Paul Hennessy | Barcroft Media | Getty Images

The Transportation Security Administration is tweaking some airport screening procedures to limit contact with passengers and officers as the peak summer season approaches in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

For one, travelers should expect more distance between passengers at security checkpoints. Passengers will also have to place their electronic or paper boarding passes on readers themselves,

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Coronavirus social distancing ‘ruinous’ for travel industry: Dubai Airports CEO

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Passenger travel through Dubai International Airport, one of the world’s largest travel hubs, dropped by a fifth in the first quarter of the year as lockdowns and border closures triggered by the coronavirus pandemic dealt a hammer blow to international travel. 

“Dubai Airports today confirmed that Dubai International (DXB) recorded a total of 17.8 million customers during the first quarter of 2020, a year-on-year contraction of 19.8%, a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic which dampened demand and reduced flight numbers,” a statement from Dubai Airports, which owns and manages Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai

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Not clear who’s in charge of health precautions at airports

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A worker puts on a protective mask behind the United Airlines check-in counter at San Diego International Airport (SAN) in San Diego, California, on Monday, April 27, 2020.

Bing Guan | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Protecting air travelers and aviation workers from the coronavirus is a challenge unlike any other. Yet, so far, it’s unclear which government authority would take responsibility for passenger health precautions.

Airlines are putting together a patchwork of polices for flying during the pandemic, such as blocking off middle seats, issuing new boarding procedures and requiring masks. At least one airport has started using a thermal

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