Boeing officials said they want to have a meeting with Charleston airport and Joint Base Charleston leaders to prevent another shutdown such as which occurred after a snowstorm earlier this month.
According to The Post and Courier, the meeting comes after Charleston International Airport was closed for nearly four days following the Jan. 3 storm that left nearly 5 inches of snow on the runway. Since snow is a rare occurrence in the Lowcountry, the airport did not have any equipment to melt ice which stayed on the runway for days after the snow. Thousands of passengers were unable to fly into or out of Charleston until the ice finally melted.
The Air Force owns the airport’s two runways and has the final say on if they open or close, according to airport officials. The military also did not have the equipment on hand to clear ice.
Boeing’s assembly plant is located at the airport. The company said one of its Dreamlifters was scheduled to take off Jan. 5, but the Air Force insisted the runways were not ready for traffic.
The Air Force closed the runways just before noon on Jan. 3 after freezing rain was followed by snow. It was not until 2:20 p.m. on Jan. 7 before both runways were operating again, the newspaper reported.
Boeing said it would like all involved to have a plan in place before the next inclement weather event.