COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - The Golden Triangle Regional Airport, like many airports across the country, has seen a decline in the number of people using airlines to travel.
Mike Hainsey is the executive director of the Golden Triangle Regional Airport.
He said prior to the pandemic, the airport offered four flights daily at 90% capacity; however, since the coronavirus, the crew limited flights to two or three a day.
“There’s a lot of concern about the safety," he said. "Not just on the airplane, not just in the airport but you know the entire trip, can you do it safely?”
After attending an airline conference, Hainsey realized the importance of safety for the entirety of a traveler's stay.
He eventually came up with the idea to create Mississippi's Trusted Triangle coalition.
“The whole goal is safety," Hainsey explained. "I want people to be able to come to our area and not be uncomfortable about COVID. We need to be wary because COVID’s a very dangerous virus, but they can still do it and be safe.”
The coalition combines several companies associated with the airport, like Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Delta Airlines, as well as six hotels in the area to promote cleanliness for travelers.
“To us in the industry, it’s all about restoring faith in travel," said Hainsey, "to where people can confidently use air travel to get anywhere in the world and to do it safely.”
All those participating in the coalition listed procedures followed on the Trusted Triangle Website to ensure safety among those visiting in the area.
Hainsey hopes this collaboration among businesses shows people the effort the Golden Triangle is putting into travelers safety.
“There’s so much synergy because everyone’s trying really hard," he said. "If we can get one message together saying here’s how you can do it, that’s, like I said, it’s kind of a groundbreaking effort.”
Hainsey said the airport in particular is sanitizing all planes after use and cleaning all surfaces passengers may touch.
He said traveler health and safety is his number one priority.