Winter Comes Late, But We’re Still Ready

It’s mid-January 2016, and we’re just into our first week of really cold weather. Winter arrived late this year, but it’s here and your airport is ready. Let’s take a look at how wintry weather impacts the airport.

RDU has been designated a Storm Ready Community. That means that we’re constantly in contact with the National Weather Service, from the first onset of a forecast that hints at wintry precipitation throughout the life of the weather event. Being a storm ready community also means that we have detailed, tested and proven plans to weather whatever the weather brings our way.

Keep in mind that the airport doesn’t close. Flights may be suspended or cancelled during periods of heavy inclement weather, but the airport staff is working behind the scenes to ensure that our runways, taxiways and other infrastructure are open and ready to operate as soon as conditions allow.

Find out the facts behind common RDU winter weather myths.

Deicing Terminal 2

Snow at RDU in February 2015

Airport maintenance crews have all the right tools and snow-clearing vehicles ready to go. We also have contractors on standby to supplement our fleet of high-speed snow plows with sanders, broom trucks, front end plows and spreaders. Crews are on site, ready to camp out in our maintenance building if necessary, and ready to go before precipitation begins falling from the sky.

But our concern is not just for the airfield. We closely monitor airport roadways, parking areas, sidewalks and other areas that are critical for you to navigate before or after your flight. Our business development team works with our shops and restaurants to ensure that you have food and beverage options as well as stores to cover your essential travel needs.

Our Guest Services staff also is prepared to stay at the airport throughout the storm. If you arrive and need assistance, please visit the Information Desks in each terminal. The Guest Services team works to help those affected by any cancelled and/or delayed flights to find a place to stay away from the airport. The goal is to avoid anyone having to spend the night in the terminal.

If you’re traveling when winter weather is in the forecast for RDU, here three key tips:

  1. Airline schedules may change frequently due to weather here and/or elsewhere. Your airline is the best source of information. We also post flight status information on rdu.com for your convenience.
  2. If your flight looks like it’s on time, plan extra time. Be aware of roadway conditions between your home and the airport. And, allow extra time for parking and check-in at the airport.
  3. Follow us at @RDUairport on Twitter for the latest airport status updates.

No matter if it’s a short winter, or a long one, we’ve got crews that are trained, ready and “sitting on go!”

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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