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: FEATURE ARTICLE :

Airport plows ahead through winter storm
By Amy Schneider

While the severity and duration of the mid-January snow and ice storm may have exceeded expectations, the approach of the winter storm was no surprise. Officials at Hartsfield-Jackson were tuned in to forecasts, and crews were ready when it hit.

“Preparedness is key, and the Airport was prepared for this winter storm,” said Balram Bheodari, interim assistant general manager for Operations, Maintenance and Security (OMS). “A week ahead of time, the OMS team was collaborating with other Hartsfield-Jackson units, the Federal Aviation Administration, the airlines and other tenant partners to implement the Airport’s snow and ice plan in order to ensure the best possible operational conditions for aircraft and to keep passengers safe, secure and comfortable.”

Businesses and industries throughout metro Atlanta were brought to a standstill by the snow and ice, but there was an ongoing flurry of activity at Hartsfield-Jackson. OMS team members worked 12-hour shifts and stayed overnight to keep runways, taxiways, roadways and pedestrian pathways clear and passable.

The Airport practices for such emergencies throughout the year. A winter weather preparedness drill in early December gave staff members the opportunity to rehearse responses to winter weather, including coordination with airlines, tenant partners and City of Atlanta officials.

During the January weather emergency, other Hartsfield-Jackson staff members worked to keep journalists and the public informed about conditions at the Airport.

While many in metro Atlanta — and travelers throughout the nation — are ready to say goodbye to threats of travel-disrupting snow and ice, the Airport will remain prepared for anything else that winter has in store.

A sheet of ice covers the top level of the south parking deck during the January winter storm.

A sheet of ice covers the top level of the south parking deck during the January winter storm.

Crews worked to clear snow and ice from the sidewalks and roadways around the Airport.

Crews worked to clear snow and ice from the sidewalks and roadways around the Airport.

Icicles cling to a sign at Hartsfield-Jackson.

Icicles cling to a sign at Hartsfield-Jackson.




© 2011 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.

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