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How the airport handles winter weather

Laura Barfield / CVG Airport / February 10, 2021

Behind the Scenes

If you’ve ever lived in the Midwest, you know one thing you can count on – an unpredictable winter. Luckily, at CVG we have one of the best teams in the business when it comes to winter weather operations. From weather tracking and planning, to actual snow and ice removal, this team does it all to keep the airport open and operational year-round. Here’s a look at what goes on behind the scenes.

CVG’s winter snow team is on call 24/7

For starters, CVG’s winter snow team is on call 24/7. The team is led by our senior airfield maintenance manager and is supported by seasonal staff – all of whom know the airfield well and are experts at operating snow removal equipment. This dedicated crew carefully clears the airport’s runways and taxiways, keeping them safe for takeoffs and landings. Our snow team’s dedicated and efficient methods have been recognized within the airport industry, earning numerous “Operator of the Year” titles, as well as placements at the annual Snow Symposium held in Buffalo, NY. In addition to CVG’s airfield, this team also ensures all roads and sidewalks on the 7,700-acre airport campus remain clear. From curb front to runway, that’s a lot to cover.

Serious Snow Equipment

You might wonder what kind of equipment is necessary to clear a 12,000-foot-long, 150-foot wide runway. It requires something a little more sophisticated than your average snowplow. At CVG, we have a fleet of nine Vammas snowplows: 70-foot long machines that sweep, brush, plow and scrub our runways all at one time. They navigate down a runway in a V-formation and can clear it in up to 15 minutes during a typical weather event. CVG was a leader in adopting this equipment in 2012, and many airports have followed suit.

Year Round Planning

But, it’s not just the winter months when the team is busy. They begin planning for the season in August and remain active until the last snowfall, which can be any time between March and May. There is a lot that goes into keeping airplanes moving when temperatures fall below freezing. Another piece to the puzzle is de-icing of aircraft, which is generally handled by an airline or its contractors.

CVG Airport never closes, and our winter operations team is one reason why we’re always prepared for whatever winter may throw at us. If you’re traveling in the winter months and there’s a weather pattern that is questionable, we encourage you to check with your airline on flight status and any potential delays/cancellations. Sometimes these are caused by weather in other areas of the country. Some airlines will keep you updated on your flight status via text message updates. You can also visit our website, CVGairport.com, to check flight status or for more information.

snow-ops-pic-2 Snow at CVG Airport Snow Operations