Taxi drivers

RDU teams brace for winter as travellers, taxi drivers hope for minimal disruption ::

– As the state Department of Transportation winterizes highways, bridges and roads, similar operations are underway at Raleigh Durham International Airport.

Travelers and taxi drivers, including Rachid Oufquir, said they hoped for a forecast that wouldn’t change their daily plans too much.

“It’s my only source of income right now,” said Oufquir, who has been driving taxis for six years.

Oufquir said most of his customers are travelers arriving at RDU airport, and the incoming winter weather can be a boom or bust for business.

Currently, Oufquir anticipates flight cancellations.

“We only have a few flights arriving at RDU. We are really affected by this. [It’s] very slow,” he says.

But, Oufquir said he is ready to brave the roads.

“The riding conditions are going to be a bit difficult,” said Oufquir. “You have to be able to drive consciously.”

Maintenance crews are already taking steps to ensure the terminal’s taxiways, runways and ramps are cleared of snow and ice.

“The equipment you see online is primarily for the airfield. Initially we have a 4 ton sprayer. It’s a salt and de-icer truck, followed by a 1100 gallon E-36 , which is a liquid deicer vehicle.” said Curtis Henderson, RDU maintenance manager.

As the hours-long effort to maintain operations continues, travelers Chris Clifton said he hopes to return home from Salt Lake City, Utah on Sunday.

“We’ll stay there and come down when we can,” Clifton said of his back-up plan for flight cancellations.

RDU crews will begin working 12-hour shifts from Thursday. Airport officials encourage travelers to check their airline before arriving at the airport.