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Elmira/Corning

Watertown airport plans for winter storm

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Watertown airport plans for winter storm
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A North Country airport is prepared for harsh weather conditions. With snow on the way, Watertown International Airport has made arrangements to make sure their customers are traveling safe during the storm. YNN's Carmella Mataloni tells us what officials have planned.

WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- A big winter storm is ready to unleash heavy snow and strong winds in the North Country. People at the Watertown International Airport are prepared.

With many traveling back and forth for the holidays, the airport is fully equipped to ensure the safety of passengers.

"Even though we are a small airport, we do have the capability with the snow. Snow blowers and snow plows and all the pickups and all the employees that are needed to provide a safe environment for the people who are flying through this airport," said Airport Manager Jim Lawrence.

With a foot of snow or more on the way, it's important to make sure all areas of the airport are clear for take offs and landings

"Our needs are somewhat different with being a smaller airport. Just the taxiways and runways that we need to keep open are going to be lesser than that of an airport that’s accommodating more planes and more flights in and out. But we have the manpower and we have the equipment to do an adequate job to keep that open," said Jim Ormsby, Airport Committee Chairman.

And it will be important to keep the runways clear during the long North Country winter, because more passengers are flying out of Watertown.

"We are coming close to 20,000 people flying out of the airport within the last year. It's exciting for the airport and the usage for a small community such as ours,” said Lawrence.

With a recent boom in business, there are not enough places to park. Officials say that a parking lot expansion will be in the plan for 2013.

And to keep the customers coming in, officials will continue to work on their winter weather plans. For this storm, airport workers are already prepared with rerouting and rebooking plans if weather conditions interrupt flights.

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