in Farmingdale is bracing for blizzard-like conditions predicted to hit Long Island late Tuesday night.
As the state's third busiest airport, Republic has puts its snow forces - snow blowers, payloaders and sanders - on blizzard alert as the National Weather Service predicts about one foot of snow and 30 miles per hour winds.
According to Gary Lewi, public relations representative for the airport, Republic Airport handles over 200,000 flight operations annually by corporate aircraft and privately owned aircraft.
Republic Runway 1432 is 6800 feet long and Runway 119 is 5500 feet long. Combined with the taxiways at the airport, some 36,000 feet will need to be kept clear of what may be anywhere from 9 to 15 inches of snow. The vehicles will be directed through two way radio to ensure that the resources could be coordinated at the 526-acre, state-owned airport.
Airport Director Michael Geiger stated that he expects an uptick in air traffic as general aviation is able to respond faster to incoming weather. He noted that on the eve of the post Christmas Day storm there were 77 jet operations at Republic Airport when they normally support about 40 jet operations day. There was also one jet operation at the height of the blizzard as the runways were kept open.
“This simply shows the benefit of general aviation and its ability to be agile in the face of dramatically changing weather conditions," Geiger said. "Companies can redirect their charter flight to get clients or executives in and out of Long Island so that commerce and safety are not compromised.”
The airport staff spent part of the autumn of 2010 in meetings preparing its snow strategy to meet the winter of 2010. “But we never expected so much," Geiger said.