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SLC Airport Ready for Winter Storms

Brian Grimmett
A plane comes in for landing at the Salt Lake City International Airport

As holiday travel ramps up, thousands of people will come and go using Salt Lake City International Airport. If handling the increased volume isn’t hard enough, airport employees often have to deal with severe winter weather as well.

While individual airlines are responsible for snow removal for small portions of the airport, the Salt Lake City Department of Airports is responsible for removing ice and snow from runways, taxiways, ramps, cargo areas, and aircraft deicing areas. That adds up to about 54 million square feet. Bianca Shreeve is a spokesperson for the Salt Lake City Department of Airports. She says keeping planes and passengers safe during a storm is a 24-hour job.

“We work closely with the National Weather Service to, as best we can, predict those conditions, and then prepare the runways with a solution to mitigate the snow and ice buildup,” she says.

The SLC airport has 56 pieces of equipment to aid in snow removal, including 15 plow trucks with 20-foot-long plows.

“One element can clean a runway in about 20-25 minutes," she says. "So, it’s a pretty impressive amount of time.”

Shreeve says while individual airlines are responsible for delaying or cancelling specific flights, the airport works hard to keep runways open to make sure planes can arrive and depart as on time as possible. 

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