Airport Business

APR 2018

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SNOW REMOVAL By Joe Petrie Tomorrow's Snow Tackled Today Airports are looking to the future to make sure snow removal equipment works and is stored securely. Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport (AMA) in Amarillo, Texas, plans to upgrade its snow removal equipment facility to enhance its operations. Located in the panhandle area of Texas, Amarillo sees about 19 inches of snow annually and also contends with high winds. Tyler Hurst, deputy director of aviation for AMA, said the airport began assessing its snow removal equipment in 2014 due to the age and challenges presented in usage and repairs of outdated machinery. "We had problems with mechanical equipment and sustainability. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it wouldn't and it was really difficult to source parts," he said. "They had reached the end of life and their value in terms of how they mechanically removed snow, ice and water was deteriorated." The airport purchased two new Oshkosh brooms in 2015 and two Oshkosh snow blowers in 2016. Both were financed using Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants. AMA didn't increase its equipment levels, having six plows also part of its snow removal fleet. "We have two 2006 Oshkosh plows, then we have a couple that we're looking at replacement at some point with future grant initiatives," Hurst said. "We still have two 1989 Walter plows and a couple of 1993 plows that we'd be looking at upgrading sometime in the future." Hurst said the airport hasn't needed to use the snow blowers yet, but the new brooms are a substantial improvement compared to the old equipment it replaced. "The brooms, being able to travel at roughly 50 miles per hour to get the contaminants off the runway or taxiways has definitely improved," he said. "The old brooms, the broom implements, turned at such a low RPM and were so slow going that sometimes it kind of made it worse." Hurst said the airport completed upgrades to the fire suppression system in its snow removal equipment storage facility by upgrading suppression heads in 2018. Now the airport is working with RS&H on design to upgrade the roof of the facility and lighting improvements. He said the airport wants to go to the FAA in 2018 with 100 percent full design of the project to request funding so AMA can go out to bid as soon as possible. The building houses snow removal equipment, other maintenance equipment, a mechanic's shop, and break room and sleeping quarters for snow removal operations. Cleveland Airport System Cleveland Hopkins International Airport will store its entire snow removal equipment fleet indoors with the new storage facility. 30 airportbusiness April 2018

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