Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Albany International Airport prepares for storm

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Albany/HV: Albany International Airport prepares for storm
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The Capital Region is bracing for a major winter storm heading toward the northeast. The Albany International Airport is busy getting ready for whatever this storm may bring our way. Karen Tararache has more.

COLONIE, N.Y.--Meteorologists at the Weather Service aren't the only ones monitoring how severe a snowstorm may or may not get.

Airport Manager Joel Russell said, "We ask the airlines if there's any changes in their schedules, sometimes there are."

At Albany International Airport, airline officials met on Thursday to go over their preparations for the impending storm. Airport management also made sure planes would be able to handle any possible icy conditions.

"They are not allowed to even leave the gate with any type of contamination on their aircraft, so it will be put on all the time," Operations Manager Bob Heitz said.

With close to 50,000 gallons of de-icing fluid on hand, Southwest Airlines Station Manager, John Rickman said, "This is nothing out of the ordinary."

"We've dealt with these types of storms in the past and we've learned lessons to make sure that we take care of our customers," he added.

Thirty-six pieces of machinery, including snow blowers, 30 foot ploughs, sanders and hand held shovels and brooms are all ready to go.

"We talk to our staff and we put together our staffing plan for the storm, what we expect, whether we're going to bring in contractors to assist us," Airport Manager Joel Russell explained.

And with all of that preparation, New Yorkers are still used to winters in the Northeast. So for many it's business as usual.

Officials also recommend that travelers planning to head out on Friday or Saturday arrive two hours before their scheduled flight. Don't forget to check with your carrier since some are offering to put people on earlier flights or will re-book at no extra cost.

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