With a winter storm warning in effect until 1 p.m. Wednesday and one of the year's busiest travel days ahead, Pittsburgh International is getting ready to do battle with the ice and snow.
“They start planning for this back in September,” said Pittsburgh Airport Authority spokesman Jeff Martinelli. “When they snow storm started getting reported that it was a possibility they started going over some plans, our operations staff was moving to 12-hour shifts, our snow removal crew is out their doing the best they can and pre-treating runways.”
No major delays were reported at Pittsburgh International Airport Tuesday, but Martinelli warned that even if crews in Pittsburgh were able to keep their runways clear, flights could be delay due to problems at other airports.
“You need to be aware of what’s happening in Atlanta or Chicago mainly because those are the big hubs, and if the hubs are hit by weather and they are having problems getting planes out, those planes are all feeding here and to other spots," Martinelli said. "And that can really create a problem down the line, create that domino effect of delays and cancelations.”
The winter weather blast is expected to be at its worst in Pittsburgh Wednesday. Martinelli said they will be using their website FlyPittsburgh.com and their twitter feed @PITairport to get out the latest information on delays, parking and the length of the security line.
The longest security delays are expected between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
On the flip side, Martinelli warns about travelers getting to the airport too soon.
“When you get here excessively early it really creates a problem for the people that did show up two hours before their flights,” Martenelli said, “You start backing up the check point a little more, so we are still asking folks to be here two hours ahead of time.”
Martenelli said for those who do not fly often, they should refresh their understanding of what the Transportation Security Administration allows and does not allow on flights. That information can be found at TSA.gov.