Fort Wayne- Allen County Airport Authority and WANE 15 Partner to Bring Soldiers “Home for the Holidays”
Fort Wayne- Allen County Airport Authority and WANE 15 Partner to Bring Soldiers “Home for the Holidays”
Fort Wayne, Ind. – The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA) and WANE 15 are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 “Home for the Holidays” contest. The two organizations partnered to bring two soldiers home for the holiday season.
In an appeal to local military families, FWACAA and WANE 15 put out a call for active military families to submit a short essay highlighting why their serviceman or woman deserved to be brought home for the holidays. Out of all of the submissions received, the Airport Authority and WANE 15 chose two soldiers to bring home to enjoy the holidays with their families.
Gage Phillips is currently serving in the United States Marine Corps and will be making the trip home to Fort Wayne from his station in Honolulu, Hawaii. He will arrive at Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) on Friday, December 21, 2018 at 2pm. His grandfather, a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, is currently on dialysis and in need of a kidney transplant. He is extremely excited to see Gage.
Daniel Hockenberry, who serves in the United States Air Force, will be coming home from Great Falls, Montana. He will arrive on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 at 5pm to ring in the New Year with his mother. Daniel just completed a deployment in Japan and hasn’t been able to come home in 4 years.
“The Airport Authority is honored to be able to bring home soldiers for the holidays,” said Scott Hinderman, Executive Director. “We are so appreciative for everything men and women in the armed forces do for us and the sacrifices that they (and their family members) make for our great nation. It is the least we can do.”
In a twist of events in the selection process, an anonymous Fort Wayne resident was touched by WANE 15 and the Airport Authority’s generosity in bringing home two soldiers, that he wanted to help to bring home an additional soldier. Due to his generosity, a third serviceman will be able to fly home for Christmas.
Spencer Myers, who is currently serving in the United States Army, will be able to fly home on Thursday, December 20 at 11:30am to spend Christmas with his fiancé, who is expecting their child. He will be deployed in January and they are not sure where he will be sent to or how long he will be gone.
“I would like to thank [the donor] for your generosity, to care about my young soldier and all soldiers who give all they have to protect each and every one of us,” said Kathy Cooper, grandmother of Spencer Myers. “[My grandson] is able to come home and will be marrying the love of his life while he is home for Christmas. Saying thank you seems like so little, but it truly comes from my heart.”
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About Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA) was created in 1985 and is responsible for managing the Fort Wayne International Airport and Smith Field Airport. The airport authority is governed by a six-member board appointed by the Mayor of Fort Wayne and the Allen County Commissioners. Serving northeast Indiana and the surrounding region, FWA offers nonstop service to 14 cities on four airlines. In 2019, FWA served 791,810 passengers –the tenth year of consecutive growth. As a result of FWACAA’s commitment to customer service, Fort Wayne International Airport was recognized by USA Today as one of the friendliest airports in the nation. For more information about the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, visit www.FWAirport.com.
Fort Wayne International Airport Takes Precautions for COVID-19
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority (FWACAA) is taking the necessary steps to make sure that Fort Wayne International Airport (FWA) remains a safe and sterile environment for all arriving and outbound passengers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Fort Wayne International Airport and Smith Field Airport continue to remain open and operational. The Airport Authority offices are open on an adjusted schedule: 8am - 4:30pm Monday through Friday with the office closed from 11:30am - 12:30pm for lunch.
Keeping FWA Safe and Healthy
FWA is using a cleaning product that is an approved sanitizer against the human Coronavirus.
Staff is wiping down high touch points multiple times daily. - This includes door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, ticket counters, seating areas, restrooms, etc.
Additional hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the terminal building.
All work is being done by Airport Authority staff. The Authority has cross-trained other staff in different departments into the custodial department to assist with the additional workload.
Airline staff are also paying special attention to sanitizing their leased areas.
Plastic sneeze guards have been installed at all airline tickets counters, car rental counter, gate podiums, and the Airport Authority front desk.
FWA is offering passengers complimentary cloth face masks near the TSA Checkpoint.
The Airport Authority is encouraging passengers to stay informed and contact their air carrier with specific questions about their flight via their websites, customer service departments, and social media.
Due to COVID-19, further precautionary measures have been taken to protect both staff and the traveling public at FWA.
Valet Parking Services have been temporarily suspended and all paid parking lots have been transitioned to credit card only in efforts to decrease person-to-person contact.
The Airport’s Customer Service Agent (CSA) program has been suspended until further notice to aide in the social distancing efforts. CSA services include the FWA Parking Lot Shuttle, as well as luggage and wheelchair assistance to and from the parking lots and within the terminal building.
FWA’s Hospitality Host Program, which are volunteers that hand out cookies and assist passengers with questions about NE Indiana, have been asked to stay home until this pandemic subsides. Prepackaged, individually wrapped cookies will be available for passengers via the Cookie Kiosk located near security exit.
The Hospitality PAWs therapy dog program has also been suspended until further notice in efforts to socially distance themselves.
Restaurant is open on a limited basis.
Q. Is it safe to fly?
A. As states begin to reopen, travel restrictions are being lifted. Airlines are taking a number of precautions to ensure that the travel experience is as safe as possible. However, it is at the discretion of each passenger as to whether they continue with their scheduled travel plans. Our staff works diligently throughout the terminal building and airport campus to continuously provide a safe, clean, and sanitized terminal area for the traveling public.
Q. Will my flight be canceled?
A. Cancellations are at the discretion of each individual airline. We have seen changes and reductions in frequency and destinations as a result of COVID-19, as well as delays and cancellations. We encourage all passengers to check with their airline for any updates on their flight status (use the links above).
Q. What is being done to keep passengers safe during this time?
A. FWA staff has accelerated efforts to clean and disinfect the terminal building multiple times per day. Approved sanitizing cleaning product is being used, high touch areas are being wiped down multiple times per day, hand sanitizing stations can be found throughout the terminal, and TSA agents are now wearing face coverings and changing gloves more frequently. FWA has placed a table next to the TSA Checkpoint with complimentary face masks and hand sanitizer.
Q. What can I do to keep myself and others healthy while traveling?
A. We recommend following the CDC guidelines for safe social distancing while in the terminal, whether you are checking in for your flight or waiting at the gate. We also encourage passengers to wash their hands frequently, make use of hand sanitizer, and cough or sneeze into their elbow. While face masks are not mandatory at the airport, passengers and guests are encouraged to wear a facial covering when possible with all airlines having introduced some type of policy relating to face masks. If you are sick, or believe you have been exposed to the Coronavirus, we ask that you stay home and make changes to your travel plans.
Q. I am still scheduled to travel but have decided to cancel my flight. How can I do this?
A. Airlines are currently offering a number of options to alleviate the stress of canceling travel. Passengers can contact their airline through their 1-800 number, or their website (link to airlines and destinations page). Airlines have also opened up the ability to reach them through their social media channels and are offering alternative means of cancelling flights due to the current demand.
Q. Can I take hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in my carry-on bag?
A. Yes – TSA will allow hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and pre-moistened hand wipes in your carry-on luggage. Hand sanitizer up to 12oz is allowed, while all other liquids must remain 3.4oz or less.
Q. Am I allowed to come into the airport to pick up my arriving passenger?
A. Guests are allowed inside the terminal building to pick up passengers when necessary. If possible, we encourage those doing an airport pick-up to wait in the Cell Phone Lot and pick their passenger up at the curb when they arrive. If you choose to come into the terminal building to wait for an arriving passenger we ask that you do not come in large groups, or linger in the terminal building longer than needed.
Passengers keep possession of boarding passes. Instead of handing their boarding pass to a TSA officer at the travel document podium, travelers should now place their boarding pass (paper or electronic) on the boarding pass reader themselves.
Separate food for X-ray screening. Passengers should place their carry-on food items into a clear plastic bag and place that bag into a bin. TSA Precheck members do not need to remove items from their bags.
Pack smart. Passengers should take extra care to ensure that they do not have any prohibited items, such as liquids, gels or aerosols in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces, in their carry-on bags (water bottles, shampoo). In response to COVID-19, TSA is allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags.
Practice social distancing. Passengers should allow for social distancing to reduce direct contact between employees and travelers whenever possible without compromising security. Noticeable adjustments leading up to the security checkpoint include, increasing the distance between individuals as they enter the security checkpoint, placing visual reminders of appropriate spacing on checkpoint floors and staggering the use of lanes where feasible.
Wear facial protection. TSA officers at checkpoints are now using facial protection. Travelers are encouraged to wear face protection to the checkpoint as well. Please note, however, passengers may need to adjust it during the screening process.
Real ID Deadline Extended. You now have until October 1, 2021 to upgrade your license to a Real ID. Following October 1, 2021 a Real ID will be mandatory in order to fly.