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At a Glance

As snow reduces visibility to near zero and ice threatens to delay flights, the fate of thousands of passengers falls on the airport’s field maintenance department.

Their job: to keep 8 miles of runway virtually free of snow and ice — to clear it down to bare pavement if possible. Considering that each runway is 150 feet wide, their goal is no less daunting than keeping 60 highway lane miles free of snow.

Between plane landings, they sweep down the runways in tight formations 16 abreast. At the end of each runway they break into two circles and execute their turns with split-second precision.

Other duties include: airfield maintenance, operating heavy equipment and maintaining the airport’s fleet of vehicles. They also mow 4,500 acres of grass.

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