MEM works to keep runways clear despite airlines canceling fligh - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MEM works to keep runways clear despite airlines canceling flights

(Source: Glen Thomas, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority) (Source: Glen Thomas, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority)
(Source: Glen Thomas, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority) (Source: Glen Thomas, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority)
(Source: Glen Thomas, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority) (Source: Glen Thomas, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Airlines are canceling flights in and out of Memphis International Airport due to the weather conditions, but MEM crews are still working diligently to keep the runways clear.

Many airlines decided not to send flights in on Wednesday night, forcing the cancellations of early morning flights since those planes never arrived.

"They [crews] have been working. We've got some runways open but our air traffic has been pretty limited as a lot of airlines are choosing to wait the storm out," said Glen Thomas, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. "Many airlines did not send out those last flights of the day which end up being the first flights of the day as well."

Conditions in the air and in other cities are taken into consideration when airlines make the decisions to cancel or proceed with flights.

"We do contact them [the airlines], sometimes they will contact our snow desk to see if we're open, but while our job is to keep those runways clear, that is just one piece of the puzzle," Thomas explained. "You have to take into consideration the conditions in the air and also the weather conditions in the other cities, so they may not want to fly through this type of storm and accumulate ice."

If you're concerned about the arrival or departure of your flight or a family member's flight, call the airline to check on its status.

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