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How airlines prepare for big storms


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When Superstorm Sandy hit the New York area, JetBlue’s Rob Maruster, the airline’s chief operating officer, equated starting up the airline again to putting together a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. It’s not about staffing levels, but an overall game plan that makes sense. "At a certain point, putting more hands on the table doesn’t help get it solved faster," he said.

The airlines will need to ask a lot of questions before bringing in planes.

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First, are the runways open?

Next, is there public transit to get workers to the airport? If not, does the airline have enough staff staying at nearby hotels that can be bused in?

Finally, the airline has to check on all the other people needed to run an airport: the Transportation Security Administration, customs officials, caters, fuel trucks and even the people who push wheelchairs through the terminal.




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