• Many flights out of Charlotte airport canceled because of hurricane impact

    By: Gina Esposito


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Tropical-force winds aren't only dangerous on the ground. The powerful winds are also a major threat on flights.

    [LINK: Charlotte-Douglas airport Hurricane Florence updates]

    American Airlines said many travelers have changed their flights ahead of Hurricane Florence’s impact on Charlotte.



    Watch the video above as reporter Gina Esposito breaks down how powerful the wind has to be before runways are closed at Charlotte Douglas airport.

    For those who may be trying to fly out over the next couple of days, airport officials said they are ready.

    Catherine Saccoccio told Channel 9 she was nervous about flying out of Charlotte Friday, but is glad she did.



    “We've even noticed today there is less people,” Saccoccio said.

    Southwest Airlines wrapped its ticket-counter computers in plastic because all of its flights for Friday and Saturday were canceled, adding to the hundreds of cancelations at the airport.

    With Hurricane Florence approaching, airport officials said the airport won't close during the storm, but some of its operations may be limited.

    Airport officials say wind could have an impact on flights.

    Officials said if wind gusts are sustained between 30 to 35 mph, three out of four runways may have to shut down and all flights would have to use one runaway because it travels opposite the wind direction. 

    Channel 9’s team of meteorologists is forecasting up to 40 mph winds.

     “It would have a significant impact on our operation,” said Charlotte Douglas airport Chief Operation Officer Jack Christine.

    Transportation Security Administration officials said three additional security teams were brought in at Charlotte Douglas, and after the storm, they could be sent to coastal airports to get operations back up and running.

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