Weather Has Little Effect on Hagerstown Regional Airport
February 6, 2014
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  • A power outage that lasted about four hours Wednesday morning had little effect on operations at Hagerstown Regional Airport, airport Director Phil Ridenour said.

    The airport has backup generators to keep essential systems running, but telephone and Internet service was briefly disrupted, Ridenour said.

    “We’re back up and running, and everything’s fine,” he said Wednesday afternoon. “We had to rely on cellphones there for a while.”

    The outage caused some issues with restarting in-line cable boosters through the airport’s service provider, Ridenour said.

    The terminal and airfield remained open during the loss of power.

    In advance of the ice storm, Ridenour said he ordered the airport’s primary runway closed at midnight Tuesday.

    Crews arrived around 5 a.m. Wednesday to clear an inch or two of ice and slush off the tarmac, and it reopened by 7 a.m., he said.

    The precipitation caused Sun Air to cancel morning commuter flights to Dulles International Airport near Washington D.C., but they were resumed Wednesday afternoon, Ridenour said.

    “During ice, it’s tough for any aircraft,” he said.

    Otherwise, the regional airport was largely unaffected by this week’s snow and ice. Temperatures hovered around the freezing mark Wednesday, and winds remained relatively calm through most of the day.

    Elsewhere, the weather has caused major problems at larger commercial airports across the nation.

    More than 4,500 U.S. flights were delayed and another 2,800 were canceled as of early Wednesday evening, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.com, with the majority of those in the Northeast.

    Ridenour said the snow accumulations in late January, and the deep freeze in the days that followed, posed more difficult challenges.

    During that storm, “the snow froze hard, and we spent a lot of time getting it all cleaned off” the runways, he said, noting that airport crews also had to deal with snowdrifts, because the unpacked snow stayed light and fluffy.

    Ridenour credited his runway and terminal staff for helping to keep the airport open during the recent bad weather.

    “I commend our crews,” he said. We have a small workforce, … and everybody did exceptionally well.”