Joint Base Charleston announced Thursday it has partnered with the Charleston County Aviation Authority to create a new task force to review lessons learned from this month’s winters storm that closed down the Charleston International Airport’s runways for nearly four days due to a lack of ice removal equipment.
According to a press release, the task force will convene next week and provide recommendations to the Joint Base Commander and Aviation Authority CEO to enhance the emergency response plan for the runways and taxiways shared by the base and the aiport.
The runway closures were a bit of a black eye for the airport, which recorded an exceptionally-high five inches of snow on Jan. 3. Aerospace manufacturer Boeing later criticized the lack of a plan, which grounded flights for planes it assembles at the airport.
After the recent extreme weather, both agencies said they realized the need to establish the task force to review current procedures in an effort to incorporate any lessons learned to emergency plans for future weather-related events.
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 that remained after the snowfall, as temperatures remained below freezing for several days.
Thousands of passengers trying to get to and from Charleston were stranded as a result of the closed runways.