Systems Operations Control (SOC) at our headquarters in St. Louis is in overdrive today as it prepares for much of our operation to be impacted by winter storm Jonas. Jonas, which forecasters predict will dump up to two feet of snow in places, is expected to hit the Eastern Seaboard and much of the South over the weekend. Proactive planning is key to minimizing the impact of Jonas on our customers—hundreds of flights have already been canceled in advance of the storm, giving travelers as much time as possible to make alternate plans and reducing the likelihood of passengers being stranded at airports over the weekend.
The Trans States SOC is also proactively planning for Jonas. Two of the key departments housed in the SOC are Crew Scheduling and Dispatch, both of which have been working overtime to ensure that crews and aircraft are moved away from the cities that are expected to be hit the hardest by this weather event. However, when making decisions about where to move crews and airplanes during the storm, the SOC must also think about where those crews and airplanes need to be after the storm. Once the weather has passed and the airports have re-opened, our customers are counting on our crews and aircraft being in place and ready to go.
Other proactive measures to weather the storm include having extra employees on hand to assist our schedulers and dispatchers, as well as additional phone lines and a dedicated email address to ensure that our crews can get the information they need over the weekend.
Once the storm has passed, it’s our priority to return to full operational strength as quickly as possible—and we’re going to do everything in our power to make that happen. “We’ve been working with our partners days in advance to come up with a game plan for the recovery of the operation,” said Elizabeth Bevenour, Manager of the Trans States SOC. “But due to the changing nature of Jonas, we’ve had to modify our plan multiple times. We’re constantly on our toes! But this is what we do best, and we have a great team in place to pull this off.”