CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston International Airport officials say they will close airport runways on Wednesday night at 11:59 p.m.
CEO and executive director of the Charleston County Aviation Authority Paul Campbell said he expects the Air Force could reopen the runways at 7 a.m. Saturday. The exact time the runways are reopened depends on the storm's path and impact on the area.
"The safety of our passengers and airport employees is our no. 1 priority. We cannot safely continue flight operations without crash, fire and rescue services available," Campbell said. "The runways will reopen when the Air Force determines it is safe, and that depends on the impact Hurricane Florence has on the area."
The Air Force owns the two runways at the airport and provides emergency fire and rescue services for all commercial and general aviation aircraft taking off and landing. Those Air Force personnel are following the directive of the governor to evacuate.
Campbell added that the Air Force has issued a notice to airmen saying the airfield will be closed until Monday, but base personnel will try to open runways as soon as possible.
Officials are telling citizens that the airport is not a shelter and people shouldn't stay there during the storm.
Airport parking facilities will remain open so passengers who are able to return to Charleston may pick up their vehicles.