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What is a weather alert?

04 aug

Arc-en-ciel sur YQB

Have you ever seen a message like this on our Twitter feed before? This is how we inform passengers of weather alerts that could affect their travel, which can happen frequently in the summer. Behind the 140 characters of our Twitter posts is a system that aims to protect passengers and airport employees alike.

Many employees work outside to ensure airport operations run smoothly: freight handlers, refuelling operators, security guards, maintenance and construction workers, etc., and they are all exposed to the elements.

When lightning strikes

YQB is equipped with a lightning detection system that can identify storm cells nearby and alert people outside.

Our system picks up on electrical activity in the air using satellite imagery. We are alerted if storm cells are detected within a radius of 48 km, 24 km, and then 8 km of the airport.

A weather alert is issued when lightning is spotted within 8 km of YQB. Strobe lights on the terminal roof turn on and a warning horn sounds to alert employees.

Prevention mode

Once a weather alert is issued, businesses operating on the airport site then implement procedures for protecting their employees. This usually means halting outdoor operations for the duration of the alert, such as the guiding of aircraft to their gate, plane landings, and baggage handling.

The weather alert ends 15 minutes after the lightning subsides.

We would like to thank you for your patience and understanding when weather alerts are issued as they concern the safety of our employees.