How will the Rochester airport handle solar eclipse?

Eclipse at the Airport

The News10NBC Team details breaking News, Traffic and Weather.

For the most part, it’ll be business as usual at the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport on April 8, but that doesn’t mean those who run it haven’t been planning for many months to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.

“We’re expecting 42 departures and 42 arrivals, kind of a normal travel day for a Monday,” explains Airport Director Andy Moore.  But what will happen in the middle of that Monday is anything but normal. “There are four arrivals coming into Rochester between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.,” Moore says. None of the flights are expected to be in the air above Rochester at the exact time of totality, 3:20 p.m..  Still, air traffic controllers, airport firefighters and those who maintain the grounds and runways are ready for when it goes dark. 

“We’ll be manually turning on our ramp lights on the commercial ramp-side of the airport, making sure our garage lights are on, working with air traffic control to make sure that any taxiway and runway lights are on as needed,” Moore explains. 

As far as whether the eclipse has led to an increase in people flying into our region, it’s hard to say — because it’s right up against what is normally one of the busiest flying weeks of the year. “Everybody coming back from spring break, let’s say Saturday or Sunday before the eclipse, it’s hard to tell whether they’re actually just coming back because they live here or they’re coming here because of the eclipse,” Moore says.

If you’re planning to fly out of the airport on the afternoon of the eclipse, Moore suggests getting there early, bringing your glasses and watching the eclipse from the top of the parking garage or one of the airport lots.