TLH airport officials ready with hurricane plan in wake of Ian

TLH airport officials ready with hurricane plan in wake of Ian.
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 7:10 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Officials at the Tallahassee International Airport are expecting cancellations of flights to areas impacted by Hurricane Ian, while the airport remains functioning preparing for impacts from the storm.

The airport has their hurricane plan at the ready to ensure they’re prepared to support customers in the region on commercial flights as well as assist in emergency preparedness and emergency rescue and relief efforts if necessary, said Deputy Director of Aviation Jim Durwin.

“Right now there are no commercial flight impacts here at the Tallahassee Airport,” Durwin said. “We are advising passengers who may be traveling later this week to check the status of their flight with their airline before coming to the airport.”

Officials at the airport deployed both their hurricane plan and airport emergency plans with coordination through different stakeholders.

“We’ve certainly been in touch with other airports particularly in central Florida to keep up to date with their status and how that could potentially impact things here in Tallahassee,” Durwin said.

Durwin said the plan will help to ensure that the airport is prepared to support customers within the region, from a commercial side to emergency preparedness to rescue and relief operations.

“Whatever might be needed to help support the community,” Durwin said.

The airport will secure loose items that could blow away and potentially turn into hazards on the airfield.

Communication is also a vital aspect of the plan, Durwin said, whether it be internally or with state, local and federal officials.

“We want to keep airfield open for any commercial flight emergencies, any medical flights, FEMA, military whatever that may be,” Durwin said. “We want to be able to provide that level of support as long as it’s safe to do so.”

All of the airport’s critical facilities are supported by backup generators and those were fueled up earlier this week and last week, Durwin said.

At this time, Durwin said there are no plans to move planes to Tallahassee and even with rain and wind in the forecast for later this week flights leaving Tallahassee he said there may only be delays or cancellations from other areas impacted by Hurricane Ian.

Several central Florida airports are shut down at this time as the storms pass through. At the international airport, Durwin said they are receiving updates on Ian’s path throughout the day from the National Weather Service.

Durwin is urging flyers to check the status of their flight in the coming days, especially those traveling within the southeast and within the state of Florida.

For individual aircrafts, Durwin said the role of the pilot doesn’t change much and if conditions aren’t safe it’s going to be up to the individual pilots and airlines to cancel flights, which Durwin said he expects later in the week.

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