New Equipment Helps Indy Airport Through Arctic Blast

About 85 percent of flights were canceled Monday at the Indianapolis International Airport, but only a handful were canceled today.

  • New equipment helps Indianapolis International Airport through the Arctic blast.

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    Photo: Alex Dierckman/WFIU News

    A plane flies into Indianaplis International Airport.

  • New equipment helps Indianapolis International Airport through the Arctic blast

    Image 2 of 2

    Photo: Alex Dierckman/WFIU News

    The Indianapolis International Airport terminal

Recent investments at the Indianapolis International Airport are helping improve the time it takes to get the airport back to regular operations after this week’s winter storm.

But the airport and airline passengers have still been significantly impacted.

The Sontag family, who lives in Carmel, has been stuck in New York since Saturday after the snow storm plowed through the state, then through the Midwest. They were on their way home from a trip to Brazil for a family wedding.

Angie Sontag says her husband and five kids have spent extra nights at hotels and days at the JFK airport.

“At some point you just have to laugh at all the things that went wrong,” Sontag says. “I mean even in here at the hotel we thought, ‘oh there’s a swimming pool, maybe we could swim.’ Well the swimming pool was under repair. It was one thing after another that we just had to laugh at.”

Indiana residents like the Sontags are having much better luck today as fewer flights are canceled.

Only 10 to 15 flights were canceled at the Indianapolis International Airport today. That’s down significantly from Monday when 85 percent of flights were canceled.

But airport spokesperson Carlo Bertolini says if it weren’t for recent upgrades, none of the flights would have made it off the ground.

“We were fortunate this season because we just acquired new multifunction snow removal equipment,” he says.

The machines plow snow with a 24-foot blade and allowed the airport to keep two of its three runways open even during the height of the storm.

“They basically have been able to cut in half the time it takes to clear a runway,” he says. “So in that sense it was really timely that we had that on hand.”

Bertolini says passengers should keep in mind that it’s not just the weather in Indianapolis that stalls travel.

At Chicago O’Hare International Airport, he says they had hundreds if not thousands of flights canceled during the height of the storm, creating a ripple effect to all interconnected airports.

Alex Dierckman

Alex Dierckman is a reporter and anchor for WFIU/WTIU News and Indiana Newsdesk. She has been with the station since 2012. From Carmel, Indiana, Alex is excited to report and deliver the news in her home state. You can follow her on Twitter @alexdierckman.

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