If Winter Shows Up, We’ll Be Ready

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.

From the archives: RDU crews practice snow removal on Runway 14-32 in 2011.

Archived Photo: RDU crews practice snow removal on Runway 14-32, our general aviation runway, in 2011.

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.

About Andrew Sawyer

Andrew Sawyer is the External Communication Specialist for the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority and is the main writer for RDU’s website, electronic communication and airport publications. He’s also the primary face behind RDU’s social media channels. Andrew also assists with many other things, from media relations to event planning. In fact, he has an advanced degree in "other duties as assigned."
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7 Responses to If Winter Shows Up, We’ll Be Ready

  1. Greg Carrero says:

    Very cool. Just wondering, how do you guys keep ice from forming on the runways (like, for example, with the ice rain/freeze forecast coming up this weekend)? Thanks!

  2. Martha says:

    You need a better plan. Many planes unable to deplane tonight at RDU. We’ve been waiting over 2 hours! Very disappointed.

  3. B says:

    After yesterday, I would recommend investing in more deicing equipment

  4. Wish Flying Were More Pleasant and Reliable says:

    “Airlines are responsible for deicing aircraft and we are working with them to improve service.”

    Hilarious!! So 11 months later, On December 26th, 2014, it was a clear sunny morning with 30 degree temps and Delta took over 45 minutes to deice our plane that just had frost on it. Then our flight couldn’t get a gate in ATL and my family missed our connection, as did most of the passengers on the flight. This added 11 hours and an extra leg to my family’s travel to visit family domestically. Delta provided no vouchers even though it is their failure to contract enough deicing capacity.

    I second the recommendation for the airlines improving service. It gives RDU a seriously bad rap as a podunk airport when connections are missed due to merely frost on a perfectly clear day.

    I would really like to sit down with someone from RDU and discuss how to keep this from happening to others.

    The silver lining is that I was considering changing my business travel loyalty to Delta and now I know that would be a mistake. My family had a similar experience on our return flights and after 24 hours, we are still without 3 of our 4 checked bags (which, since I am home, bothers me less than the botched connections).

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