Airport crews prepare as temps take flight

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW)- Temperatures in and around Wichita are starting to take off into the triple-digits.

Maintenance crews at Eisenhower Airport are finishing improvements on the main runway, but the heat is adding an unwanted challenge.

Temperature sensors at the airport say it is more than 130 degrees on the tarmac.

“It’s 130.6 degrees on one of our runways,” said Brian Cowles, the airport operation manager. 

He says the heat has arrived earlier than he expected, and that the sensors help him keep a close eye on his crews. 

“You can actually feel it through your shoes, it gets hot enough out there,” said Cowles. “We weren’t expecting it to really get this hot this early in the year. Usually, we don’t have to deal with this kind of heat until we get into July, August timeframe. So, being the middle of June, it’s a little warm for us. We’re not ready quite ready for it.”

Crews have started to work earlier to avoid working during the hottest part of the day. 

“There are times where if the temperature starts coming up too high, and the humidity levels are high, like, tomorrow is going to be that we’ll actually have to pull them off because it’s just too hot for him to be out there and they really can’t,” he said. 

The crews keep their trucks running to cool off and there are water coolers on every site.

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