Congressman Dean Phillips sent a letter today to the heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requesting information about contingency plans for air travel restrictions related to the recent coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China.
“I write with concern over the coronavirus and the five recently confirmed and several unconfirmed travel-related cases in the United States and its potential effects to air travel. While the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low, I write to inquire about contingency plans for air travel restrictions if the CDC, public health experts, and the FAA deem such restrictions necessary,” Phillips said. “Businesses in Minnesota and around our country rely on regular travel between our nation and many of those nations affected, including China. While I appreciate your work in protecting public health, I think it is important to remain calm while being vigilant. As soon as possible, please provide the Minnesota delegation with any contingency plans your organizations have in response to this growing public health concern. As you know, an update would be helpful for the many companies and businesses that rely on air travel.”
Travel restrictions would potentially impact the work at The Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, which is the 17th busiest U.S. airport for passengers and the second largest hub for Delta Air Lines. More than 100,000 average passengers travel through the airport every day, with over 38 million travelers annually.