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Airborne Unlimited-12.02.22

Sat, Dec 18, 2021

Kansas City Resumes Tower Service

Airport Evacuated Due to High Winds, Intense Storms

Areas of the United States have been hit with unusually fierce storm activity this week, with one brief window of intense winds seeing the evacuation of the Kansas City Air Traffic Control Tower for a short time on December 15. The controllers left out of an abundance of caution, and for a brief while turned the Kansas City International Airport into an uncontrolled airfield. 

The KCI airport notified locals through their online bulletin, advising those in the vicinity that "there will likely be diversions and delays." The initial notification preceded a return to ATC service by about 45 minutes, due to the brief bout of storm activity. The operations staff began a brief sweep of the runways and taxi areas for debris before reopening for service 10 minutes later. 

During the storm, the 250-foot tower experienced wind gusts over 67 mph as the surrounding state areas experienced what the National Weather Service described as "never-before-seen outlooks". The northern part of Kansas state was included in a possible tornado outlook, made all the more stressful from the previous storm activity that had torn through Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky only days before. Tower staffing's caution may be the result of recent events that saw fatalities as a result of remaining on duty despite dangerous conditions, like a recent warehouse collapse that killed 6. Weather in the area has returned to normal, however, and all is well for the foreseeable future, with predominantly sunny skies ahead. 

FMI: www.flyKCI.com


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