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When Airports Close, Where Do The Planes Go?

Fri Sep 17, 1999 12:01 am

When such large airports like Miami (MIA), Orlando (MCO), or even Atlanta close due to severe weather (in this cause "Furious Floyd-Hurricane"), I understand planes all leave the airport, or go into storage. When planes leave the airport. Where do they go? Do they carry passengers? What happens to them? Thank-you in advance!
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RE: When Airports Close, Where Do The Planes Go?

Fri Sep 17, 1999 2:05 am

I don't think the airplanes go anywhere. They just sit there until the storm is over. If the weather is severe, ATC won't alow any airplanes to land or take off. The airplanes that are in the air get rerouted to a near by airport.
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RE: When Airports Close, Where Do The Planes Go?

Fri Sep 17, 1999 3:02 am

My understanding is they get most of the planes out of the affected airports before the storm or hurricane strikes. For instance Comair brought a few of there regional jets here to Birmingham (AL) the other day. These jets were based out of Orlando but when talk of the storm might strike was big they decided to bring them here for safety. The airlines would stand to lose lots of aircraft if they left their aircraft in a potential hurricane affected city. It doesnt take to strong of a wind to damage or blow over an aircraft, or be hit by possible flying objects. Im not sure what other airlines did anyone know where they ferried their aircraft?


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RE: When Airports Close, Where Do The Planes Go?

Fri Sep 17, 1999 3:22 am

In the case of CO (and most other airlines I presume) the aircraft that would normally RON (Remain Over Night) at, say MCO, never flew in the night before Floyd arrived. In the case of AA's MIA hub, AA would have flown the planes out as scheduled flts. or ferried them out emply to their other hub cites.
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RE: When Airports Close, Where Do The Planes Go?

Fri Sep 17, 1999 6:44 am

There's no easy one-size-fits-all answer as far *where* the airplanes go, but it's better if you know the overall process.

I'm an aircraft dispatcher, and I work for a major carrier here in the USA. By FAA regs, all airlines must have dispatchers, and one of the many things we do is plan flights, monitor their progress enroute (but not separate them--that's ATC), and take action(s) when thing change that will prevent the aircraft from landing. Most of the time, this last item comes up unexpectedly, like when unforecast fog or thunderstorms pop up. With Floyd, we could see where/when we were going to have problems in advance, mostly with the storm's winds, and the resultant crosswind situation at a particular airport. Since there are maximum crosswind limitations that must be complied with, we couldn't operate until the winds abated.

Depending upon when an airport was forecast to be unavailable to us, we modified flight routings. For example, if the aircraft was scheduled to operate into RDU and then spend the night, we canceled the passenger flight into RDU, and then ferried the aircraft (empty) to the airport that would have been the first stop from RDU-??? the next morning. That way, the aircraft starts out, on-time- in ??? and flies the remainder of the day on-time.

Believe me, with Floyd, we've been *BUSY*
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.

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