Aviation News

January 27, 2015

Continuous Coverage: Blizzard of 2015

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Written by: Phil Derner Jr.
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We will be updating this page with information and maps, giving you delay and weather information nonstop until Wednesday. For specific questions or media inquiries, please contact [email protected].

 

Current Airport Status (updated Tuesday, 7:02pm EST)

There are no official delay programs or traffic management initiatives at this time.

Caribbean Airlines 3017 rolling out on JFK's runway 31R, the first airline to arrive at the airport post-blizzard.

Caribbean Airlines 3017 rolling out on JFK’s runway 31R, the first airline to arrive at the airport post-blizzard.

BOS runways are all posted CLOSED. According to airport notices, runway 15R/33L is listed to open at 6am Wednesday, with the rest following suit at noon.

NYC airports are considered open (see runway snow status below). All New York City airports have airborne inbound aircraft aircraft this time. All NYC airports are receiving airline traffic.

NOTE: Official FAA-posted airport delays may be few, but this is largely due to airlines canceling their flights, which creates low flight volume and is not necessarily indicative of ease of airport operation.

(What do these delays mean? Read here.)



Air Travel and Weather Forecast and Conditions

Snowfall Total and Status
BOS: 23.3″ total (as of 7:00pm), all runways closed until Wednesday
LGA: 11″ (as of 7:00am), reporting patchy, thin, dry snow on runways as of 5:45pm
JFK: 8.6″ (as of 7:00am), reporting 1/4″ dry snow at 5:10pm
EWR: 6″ (as of 7:00am), patchy, thin, wet snow for partial runway width (130′ of 150′) with 1″ beyond as of 3:43pm

According to currently active airport weather forecasts (as of 7:01pm Tuesday), New York City and Boston airports will see some form of snow for all of Tuesday (see Boston accumulation map below).

New York City
In NYC, winds are forecast to be over 20mph, with gusts exceeding 35mph for much of the day, with a chance of light and blowing snow remaining until midnight Tuesday (NYC snow accumulation map removed due to low expected precipitation remaining).

Boston
BOS is forecast to have moderate snow as late at 5pm, with light or blowing snow remaining until just after midnight. Winds will be steady near 30mph for most of the day, with gusts ranging from 35mph to 45mph all day.

NWS area snowfall forecast for Boston area, as of Tuesday, 1:54pm EST.

NWS area snowfall forecast for Boston area, as of Tuesday, 1:54pm EST.



Post Blizzard Recovery

All NYC airports are open and accepting traffic. From here, NYC operations will be up to the airlines and their capabilities and recovery plans.

Officials at BOS have posted all runways as closed until noon on Wednesday, with the exception of runway 15R/33L, which is listed to open at 6am. Even with the runway open, flights will only be able to operate as much as their own capabilities and local infrastructure (roads, mass transit, etc.) allow. Cargo flights are likely/usually among the first, since cargo remains at the airport, unlike passengers.

Recovery can be slow even after the blizzard ends. It takes a lot of time to plow and treat a runway with sand or chemicals that allow an aircraft to land. But, even with all of the runways cleared, the rest of the airport needs to be cleared as well. This means that taxiways, gates and ramp areas, as well as moving jetways and ground equipment, must be operational. Then, ensuring that the staff needed to operate it all are able to get into work adds another layer to the challenge, though many companies put up their employees in close-by hotels.

Weather is not always cooperative either once the blizzard ends. No snowfall does not mean there is no longer a threat to flights. If winds remain, that may cause light, powdery snow to be blown right back onto the runways, while also creating a low visibility condition that prevents aircraft from landing.

Regardless of the conditions, airplanes cannot legally be dispatched or attempt to land at airports that do not meet FAA-required minimums for safety.



Around the Twitterverse



About the Author

Phil Derner Jr.
Phil Derner founded NYCAviation in 2003. A lifetime aviation enthusiast that grew up across the water from La Guardia Airport, Phil has aviation experience as a Loadmaster, Operations Controller and Flight Dispatcher. He owns and operates NYCAviation and performs duties as an aviation expert through writing, consulting, public speaking and media appearances. You can reach him by email or follow him on Twitter.




 
 

 

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