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Peoria Int'l Airport runway closure; new info you need to know for wintertime flying

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

If you were flying in or out of Peoria International Airport Sunday night or Monday morning, you dealt with a nuisance.

It's all because of the weekend wintry mix the area saw.

Heads up; more and more flight times might be affected by winter weather due to some changes in FAA regulations.

Around 4:30 Sunday afternoon the Peoria International Airport runways turned into a sheet of ice.

That forced Airport officials to take action.

"We had a charter airplane land and they declared 'breaking action nil, which means no perceptible deceleration when you hit the breaks," said Gene Olson, Director of Airports at Peoria International Airport. He said, when that happens, we have to close the runway."

Olson said the wintry mix left a thin layer of ice.

"Normally our de-icing chemical works pretty well in those temperatures that we were having," said Olson; however, "for some reason it was not effective."

Employees said they can not remember the last time the runway was closed.

Olson said FAA guidelines have gotten stricter when it comes to precautions due to icy conditions.

He added that a new system went into effect last year, and that because it was a mild winter, we are just now locally seeing the effects of the new criteria.

Olson estimates over a dozen flights in total were affected with a few of them being diverted to Iowa and Bloomington/Normal.

While on the topic of the twin cities, 25 News got in touch with Central Illinois Regional Airport, who saw three flight landings canceled Sunday night.

That led to three outbound flights being canceled Monday morning.
 

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