Around 35 flights originating at Memphis International Airport have been cancelled, according to FlightAware, a company that tracks flight operations data.
By 11 a.m. flights to Chicago, Orlando, Houston, Charlotte and Denver had been cancelled. FlightAware was showing cancellations to Washington, D.C., Dallas/Fort worth, Houston, Newark and Charlotte after 11 a.m. Passengers should check with their respective airlines frequently today, as airlines will have the most updated scheduling information.
Just after 7 this morning, traffic at Memphis International was “limited” as airlines chose to wait the winter storm out or were unable to arrive from other cities with weather-related woes.
Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority crews worked overnight to keep runways open but flights were still cancelled as of 7 a.m., when large swaths of the Memphis area were still receiving snow.
Many airlines did not send flights Wednesday night as the storm bore down on the area. Those flights would have been first to leave Memphis International this morning, but airlines did not want the planes to accumulate ice overnight because de-icing in these conditions can be difficult.
“While our job is to keep the runways clear, that’s only one piece of the puzzle,” said Airport Authority spokesman Glen Thomas. “You also have to take into consideration the conditions in the air and also the weather conditions in the other city. Our crews continue to work diligently to keep operations up and running.”
On Twitter, the airport posted a picture of a FedEx plane taking off in the snow with the hash tag “dedicated.”
Speaking of FedEx, I bet the FedEx Express Global Operations Control Center, or GOC as most employees refer to it, was buzzing with activity last night and today.
Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, the GOC is the nerve center for FedEx Express’ global supply chain system, responsible for everything from monitoring weather conditions around the world to how much time pilots have spent in the air and what flight crews were served for lunch.
This place was fascinating. It has a massive video wall featuring 36 40-inch LED screens displaying real-time information on global weather patterns and the locations of hundreds of FedEx Express jets.
Check out this story I wrote on the GOC last year.