Coronavirus: SFO says it's losing money due to outbreak

Tuesday, February 4, 2020
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The airport director at SFO gave an update Tuesday on how the outbreak of the coronavirus is impacting the airport.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The airport director at SFO updated the airport commission Tuesday morning on how the outbreak of the coronavirus is impacting the airport.

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"We are seeing from flight activity, there's about half the flights now that we typically have to China. So we are down from about 90 a week to 40, 45," said airport director Ivar Satero.

The airport spokesperson explained the cost outside the meeting.

"For every flight that lands at SFO, airlines pay a landing fee to the airport. So you have less flights, there are less landing fees. But also you think about revenue generated inside the airport by passenger activity...the shops, the restaurants... so no doubt there will be an impact. It's a little early to put a dollar amount on it," explained spokesperson Doug Yakel.

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They also discussed the new restrictions that went into effect Sunday, which includes more screening by the CDC.

"We are well positioned to deal with this. We have a permanent CDC presence at SFO and since the outbreak we have an increased presence of CDC at SFO," Satero told the commission.

"The CDC is now screening anyone who has been anywhere in mainland China for the last 14 days. This is happening at the same time that customs and border protection has new policies on who to grant entry into the US. So effective on Sunday, US citizens who have been in China in the last 14 days will be granted entry but have to self-monitor their symptoms for 14 days. Foreign nationals who have been in China last 14 days will not be granted entry into the US," Yakel said.

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Some passengers said it took four to six hours to get through customs Sunday because of the new screenings. Officials said Tuesday they think the process is improving.

"It looks like it was better yesterday. My wife got in from Taiwan yesterday and it took her about an hour to get through process," Yakel said.