New Philadelphia International Airport policy will require everyone working there to wear masks

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) Beginning next week, everyone who works at Philadelphia International Airport will have to wear a mask. 

Airport officials originally took the position that the governor’s order to wear masks when performing essential tasks didn’t apply at Philadelphia International because the order exempted municipal authorities.

Some debate ensued, with state and city officials saying the FAA — which governs part of airport operations — should provide guidance. 

It never did.

But the TSA required its workers to wear them, then airport concessions; now, airlines have begun to require them for workers and passengers, and spokesperson Florence Brown says the airport decided to review its policy.

“As of May 11, we are planning to require that all employees and tenants and subcontractors working in the airport are wearing masks,” Brown said. 

That’s a relief to the TSA’s union, which worried about members being exposed to non-mask-wearing workers.

Brown cautions the airport still can’t require them of passengers, and the airlines’ requirements cover only gangways and aircraft, not other areas. But most passengers waiting for the few flights departing on a recent weekday were wearing them.

“I am taking precautions. I’m not going to be silly about it,” said one passenger. 

Passenger flights are down about 90% and most concessions at the airport are closed, but Brown says the airport expects recovery to begin in June and international travel to resume in July.