Hartsfield-Jackson says it's prepared to clear runways, de-ice planes

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Credit: Kelly Yamanouchi

Hartsfield-Jackson International will have some 400 workers on 12 hour shifts in an effort to keep the world's busiest airport up and running through the storm set to hit Atlanta.

But travelers should check with their airlines directly before heading to the airport, warned Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport general manager Roosevelt Council. Delta has already canceled about 350 flights in advance of the storm hitting Atlanta, its largest hub.

The workers include about 124 maintenance workers who will help to clear the taxiways and runways, as well as Atlanta police workers, firemen and operations workers.

This will be the first big snowstorm when the airport and airlines will use a set of new de-icing pads built and completed in late 2015. The airport added five de-icing pads and now has a total of 16 pads that airlines can use to de-ice planes.

That's expected to increase the throughput of airplane de-icing during freezing conditions, which could help reduce delays and cancellations. But this storm will be the test to see how much it will help, according to Council.

The airport will also have customer service workers available to help stranded passengers by handing out blankets and amenity kits with toothpaste and other toiletries. That will supplement airlines' efforts to care for their passengers.

Hartsfield-Jackson will also have 24-hour concessions open on every concourse during the storm, according to Council. The airport holds simulations twice a year to prepare for these types of storms, he said.


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