Covid and Hurricanes Not a Good Mix

 - June 15, 2020, 1:08 PM

This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.

Meteorological predictions are calling for a more active hurricane season this year, with two of the three named storms already making landfall before the traditional start of the Caribbean/Atlantic storm season on June 1. While preparations in storm-vulnerable areas are already in motion, this year organizers face the added complication of having to deal with the Covid-19 threat as well.

“A lot of that is stockpiling water, food supplies, and now with the addition of Covid, additional PPE, contemplating that in a storm even you may very well not have access to those things,” said Christopher Rozansky, executive director of the Naples (Florida) Airport Authority. Speaking in an NBAA webinar last week, he said that during mid-March, when the pandemic began taking hold in the U.S. scientists noticed that the Gulf of Mexico temperatures were warming higher than usual, typically a harbinger of increased storm activity.

Rozansky, whose airport was heavily impacted by 2017’s Hurricane Irma, explained that FBOs should keep their fuel farms topped off as much as possible for evacuating aircraft ahead of the storm and to support recovery traffic.

Another concern that weighs heavily is the safety of their staffers and their families. While the plan may be to keep their facilities open as long as is safely possible, and reopen when prudent, the human element must also be considered.