Yesterday, I shared information with you regarding COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), actions taken by LAWA and our government partners to help reduce the spread of germs and guidance on how you individually can protect yourself from illness.
Today, I want to address how we as an organization can remain operationally and financially strong during this period. COVID-19 has led to flight cancellations and reductions in passenger traffic to and from Asia and other highly affected countries. We want to be proactive in addressing potential impacts that may be caused by this and any further decline in travel. Fewer passengers and aircraft running through our airports can have ripple effects on multiple aspects of LAWA operations, including landing fees, and concession, parking and rental car revenues. We also know this will result in significant financial impacts to our airlines and other tenants and partners.
While we do not know as yet the detailed or full impacts the coronavirus has had on LAWA’s and our partners’ revenue streams, out of an abundance of caution we need to start taking steps to reduce our costs where appropriate. Some immediate measures we will take include:
- Not approving any new hiring requests for budgeted or non-budgeted positions, except for specific critical and predesignated positions;
- Deferring any new non-essential discretionary spending such as non-essential trainings and attendance at conferences for which we have not already paid;
- Only approving new contracts and task orders that are essential to key capital projects and critical tasks;
- Limiting overtime to those activities that are necessary for safety, critical operations, or emergency management; and
- Asking every Business Unit to identify ways to reduce expenditures that are not critical or can be delayed.
I also want to remind all hourly employees that if you would like to consider taking a voluntary furlough or reduce your work schedule to 72 hours per pay period, you may discuss this option with your supervisors. You can learn more about that program here.
Finally, I want to reiterate our message from yesterday that we all have a role in reducing the spread of germs. If you are sick, you must stay home. I am asking our managers and supervisors to be flexible when it comes to the requirements of sick notes from doctors, to ensure that everyone who is sick stays home to recover and reduce the spread of germs.
Over the next days in staff meetings and video messages, we will be sharing more details about the above actions, as well as more information about the coronavirus situation and what steps we need to take to keep our airports running smoothly through it.
Thank you again for all you are doing to keep LAWA strong — both operationally and financially.
Interim CEO, LAWA