Hurricane Sandy may be churning a couple of hundred miles east of Raleigh-Durham International Airport, but fortunately, the worst weather we’ve experienced has been a few gusts of wind and spotty rain. However, that doesn’t mean we’re not feeling the impacts of Sandy today as she heads to the Northeast.
Being an airport on the edge of a storm, whether tropical or winter, means impacts to some of our customers, both in the terminal and on the airfield. In either case, the RDU team is on duty and ready to assist.
In the terminals, our Guest Services ambassadors are at the airport’s two information desks providing flight status information to customers planning to fly and those here to greet arriving passengers.
Most people are calling their airline to check their flight status before arriving at RDU; however, some flights have been cancelled after people have arrived. In these cases, our Guest Services staff works with these passengers to locate hotels or other accommodations.
Out on the airfield, the Airport Authority’s Operations staff is busy. Before Sandy began making its presence known, Operations officers checked the airfield to make sure anything that could blow around in gusty winds was tied down for safety. Materials at our construction sites, equipment and supplies to service aircraft on the ground or even small private planes not tied down can potentially be hazardous if picked up by the wind.
Our Operations team is also busy working with the airlines to park planes that normally wouldn’t be at the airport. In advance of Sandy, airlines have sent many aircraft out of the projected path in the Northeast. As of this morning, more than 20 commercial planes are parked on various parts of our airfield to receive shelter from the storm.
But being on the edge of the storm also means it’s a normal day for many at RDU. There are many flights arriving and taking off to destinations not in Sandy’s path. Passengers are checking in and boarding flights while friends and family are greeting loved ones in our terminals.
So, what’s our advice to you? If you’re traveling today, or the next few days, call ahead to your airline to check the status of your flight before you head to the airport. You can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook for the latest information. And, you can check your flight status right on our homepage.