CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The January snowstorm caused significant transportation issues in the Charleston area when up to eight inches was reported in certain parts of the Lowcountry.
The official measurement taken at Charleston International Airport was 5.3 inches, which slotted as the third largest snowfall on record. The airport was closed for almost three days because of ice with no planes getting in or out.
A new agreement between the Charleston Aviation Authority and Joint Base Charleston hopes to improve snow clearing operations the next time around.
The base and the aviation authority have signed a memorandum of understanding for snow and ice removal at the airfield. It establishes a snow control command center which will be in charge of clearing the field, ensuring runways can remain operational, and providing updates on runway conditions.
Joint Base Charleston owns and maintains the runways which it shares with the airport and Boeing. The existing agreement, which this new agreement doesn't supersede, says that the airfield maintenance still falls on the Air Force to ensure military readiness.
"This joint memorandum of understanding will improve communications and operations and give us a comprehensive plan to quickly and effectively execute snow and ice removal on the joint base airfield and taxiways," Charleston Aviation Authority CEO Paul Campbell said. "Our goal is to alleviate the impact on civil and commercial aircraft operations during inclement weather."
628th Air Base Wing Commander Col. Jeff Nelson said the base and aviation authority will meet annually in the fall to go over plans for possible winter weather. The memorandum came as a result of a task force created back in January which was meant to review lessons learned from the January storm.