Five things TPA does to prepare for severe tropical weather
Today marks the official start of the 2021 hurricane season and getting an airport ready looks a lot like what it might look like at your own home – plus an airplane or two, of course. Here are five things TPA does to prepare for tropical weather:
- Update the plan: Yes, hurricane season comes around every year, but that doesn’t mean the plan should stay the same. A hurricane plan is only good if it is current and all involved are aware of what’s in it. Every spring, TPA reviews its plan, makes necessary updates, and sends it out to every department for review. Once this is complete, key departments all go over it as a team to discuss major changes.
- Check the inventory: Just as it is at home, it’s important to make sure Tampa International is stocked up for severe weather. Before hurricane season starts, our Maintenance and Procurement teams ensure that we have all the necessary supplies to keep us running during emergency operations. This includes everything from extra batteries and water to cots and blankets for emergency workers.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate: Keeping TPA’s employees, passengers and guests up-to-date on the latest airport impacts during bad weather is mission-critical. In addition to internal channels, Tampa International Airport will post all the latest public information to its social media pages. Be sure to follow the airport now on Twitter @FlyTPA for the most accurate and timely information.
- Clear and secure the airfield: Days before a tropical storm threatens, TPA is already preparing its airfield and facilities. Construction sites are cleaned up, equipment is stowed and jet bridges are tied down. In some cases, airlines will relocate planes out of the area for added protection.
- Shut it down: Tampa International will begin shutting down parts of its airfield and facilities as wind speeds ramp up. At 40 mph sustained winds, TPA will see minimal activity, with the airside shuttles and SkyConnect stopping or reducing in frequency. At 50 mph sustained winds, all Airport operations stop.