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Airport Magazine

JFK Adopts New Winter Storm Operating Procedures

top story photo The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced that Kennedy International has adopted additional improvements in operational procedures during winter storms. The measures supplement and/or replace the interim steps previously announced to address the difficulties the airport experienced during and after Winter Storm Grayson in early January.

"We significantly improved storm operating procedures within the JFK community in late January," Port Authority Aviation Director Huntley Lawrence, A.A.E., said. "The measures announced today represent another critical step to enhance performance at JFK in future winter storms. As we said at the time and continue to emphasize, what happened in January cannot and will not happen again. We are grateful for the continued input from all of our airport community partners to ensure we make good on this promise."

The new and revised measures reflect the input of working groups comprised of airport stakeholders — representatives of airlines, terminal operators and ground handlers — that were convened on a frequent basis over the past several months, the port authority said.

Among the winter storm changes announced for Kennedy International are:

• A new planning procedure for inbound flights coordinated with FAA and the International Air Transport Association by which JFK will establish, in advance of a predicted storm, a specified "storm window." The airport's general manager may recommend to airlines that flights due to arrive at JFK during the specified window be canceled. Once any cancellation recommendations are made, prior permission will be required to launch any flight with an arrival time during the specified window.

• Expanded requirements for mutual aid during a storm whereby airlines, terminal operators and ground-handling organizations are mandated to share equipment, staff and gates to meet emergency situations during a winter storm.

• The airport will provide heavy-duty buses prior to and during a storm from key gathering points for employees to ensure their ability to get to the airport during a storm, whenever a snow emergency diminishes the effective functioning of normal everyday transit options.

• Prior to the 2018-2019 winter storm season, the airport will acquire additional high-speed snow removal equipment, as well as impose additional and rigorous training requirements for operators of snow removal equipment. It also will implement more efficient sharing of resources between JFK and other port authority airports as needed.

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