Last weekend, the thermometer hit 70. But, the calendar on the wall above my monitor still says January and that means winter is here for quite a few more weeks. While I’m personally not complaining that winter hasn’t decided to show up in full force this season, you can rest assured that if winter weather impacts RDU, we will be ready.
While the airlines are responsible for deicing aircraft and clearing the ramp, or paved area around the gate and jet bridge, the Airport Authority works hard to making sure that RDU is safe regardless of the weather. Remember, even though flights may stop for a time during inclement weather, the airport is always open.
Our maintenance crews have all the right tools and snow-clearing vehicles ready to go when the winter weather threatens. And, should a big storm come knocking, we have contractors ready to supplement our fleet of high-speed snow plows with sanders, broom trucks, front end plow and spreader. And, our personnel litterally camp out at the airport’s Maintenance Building when the forecast calls for snow just to be ready when it starts accumulating.
And besides the runways and taxiways, our crews also have to make sure that it’s safe for you to reach your flight. Our team gets out ahead of the storm to salt and sand ramps, sidewalks and even close exposed sections of the parking garage for your safety. Once the precipitation starts falling, we’re out clearing roadways and tacking trouble spots as the need arises.
Inside the terminals, The Shops of RDU makes plans to have employees on site to keep our shops and restaurants running. And, our Guest Services staff works to help those affected by any cancelled and/or delayed flights find a place to stay away from the airport. Our goal is always to ensure that no one has to spend the night in RDU.
Behind-the-scenes, my team, our Marketing Communications Department works to post information about delays, cancellations and the status of the airport to our social media networks and inform local media outlets. Other departments, from the Fuel Farm to Operations to Parking and Emergency Services all work according to winter weather plans to make sure staff are on site to keep the airport ready to handle flights during any kind of weather.
So, if winter pays us a visit this year, rest assured that you’ve got a team on the ground to do everything possible to get your flight ready and safe for take-off or landing.