Charlotte Douglas International Airport officials “intend to stay operational” during Friday night’s snow storm, though airlines will likely cancel some flights. The airport encouraged people to call their airline before coming to the airport.
Jack Christine, the city’s deputy aviation director, said during a news conference Friday morning that the airport has already pre-treated runways, taxiways and the ramp to prevent freezing. It has also treated the roads leading to the terminal.
Starting at 7 a.m. Friday, crews began working 12-hour shifts.
As the storm begins, the airport will be waiting so it can begin plowing snow.
“Our snow equipment machines have 30-foot blades or 30-foot brooms,” he said. “We have loaders that will work on the ramp. There is a large number of equipment that we put to use.”
He said the airport has equipment that can measure the friction on runways and other concrete.
“We have equipment that will measure the friction on the runway surface itself,” he said. “We continue to monitor that. If (it’s not safe) we close that runway and we put on de-icers to raise that friction level.”
The airport’s de-icing plan calls for the diagonal runway to be closed. The runway will then be used to stage 36 de-icing trucks.
The good news is that there is little ice forecast.
“If we can get the snow we can manage that,” he said. “Ice makes everything a lot more difficult.”
Charlotte is one of the nation’s busiest hubs. It’s likely some passengers will be stranded in the airport overnight. Christine said the airport is ready with cots and mats.
“We will keep concessions available,” he said. “We want to make it as comfortable as we can.”