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Big Boost in Airline Travel Causing Hancock Airport to Crackdown on Traffic Rules for Safety

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WAER File
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Your routine at Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport might have to change a bit, as officials say they need to step up enforcement of traffic rules.  What might seem like an inconvenience,  is actually due to a positive trend.

If you’ve waited in your car next to the curb at the airport -- or left it for a moment to find an arriving traveler --  you probably know you’ve been breaking the rules.  Airport Marketing Director Jennifer Sweetland says they can’t be quite so lenient anymore.  A big jump in airport traffic has also meant more pick-ups and drop offs… and more safety concerns.

“There’s crosswalks between the terminal and the garage and when you have vehicles double- and triple-parked, it’s hard for cars that are going through the front of the terminal to see the stop signs or to see if someone is walking through.  So we’ve had some close calls there.”

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Credit www.syrairport.org
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An increase in passenger traffic on planes has also increased vehicle traffic, causing a crackdown on the curb-line stopping and standing rules.

So they’re going to be stepping up enforcement of the laws that say the curb area is for pickups and drop offs only.  And Sweetland has a suggestion for those that arrive 10, 15 minutes or more before a flight lands.

“They are making sure that folks are aware that we are now enforcing this active curb-line policy.  All they’re asking folks to do is just to go wait in the cell-phone lot until their passenger is ready to be picked up.  We will always allow drop-offs out front.  Drop-offs are quick.”

Recent renovations added a flight information board to the cell phone lot area.  The airport upgrades,  along with more flights to popular destinations, have led to a significant boost in travel.

“We have experienced record growth over the last 18-24 months.  We’ve seen an increase of almost 12% in 2018 over 2017.  And for the first six months of 2019 we’re almost exceeding 12% growth.  It’s a great problem for us to have.  But with the addition of all the new service we’ve received, we’re trying to put measures into place to still provide the same service to people.”

She adds summer makes things even busier.  So the active enforcement of the curb-line policies might cause some changes in routines, but it follows an encouraging result of airport improvements.