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FoxtrotSierra
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Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:24 am

Haven't seen this topic posted anywhere so I thought I'd ask.

What airports excel in snowy conditions due to the combination of airport layout, deicing capability, and just plain efficiency from an ops perspective? For obvious reasons, ATL, DFW, LAX are irrelevant here, this concerns major airports with a lot of snow.

Some of the best I have seen are DTW, MSP, and DEN, but that could be because they get some of the heaviest snow in the country and are trained the best to deal with it.
 
kruiseri
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:31 am

HEL, ARN and OSL

No contest really...
 
devron
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:31 am

Oslo? Doesn't have partly heated parking stands? Google didn't result in a postive hit so it might be a fairy tail...
 
MalevTU134
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:43 am

kruiseri wrote:
HEL, ARN and OSL

No contest really...

There are occasionally reports on Swedish TV on the news, almost every winter, of an airport at more southern latitudes (I rememver one of TLV a couple of years ago) that closes down due to getting the likes of 2 cm of snow. That sure makes us smile... :)
 
Nickd92
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:55 am

Not a single airport in the UK or Ireland. As a matter of fact the UK infrastructure cannot cope in snow, rain or even sun.
 
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downtown273
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:00 am

kruiseri wrote:
HEL, ARN and OSL


I'd probably add CPH to it. I flew out of CPH every couple of days for 3 years, and I was never delayed due to weather conditions.

MalevTU134 wrote:
There are occasionally reports on Swedish TV on the news, almost every winter, of an airport at more southern latitudes (I rememver one of TLV a couple of years ago) that closes down due to getting the likes of 2 cm of snow. That sure makes us smile... :)


Same with MAD... Can't cope too well.

Nickd92 wrote:
Not a single airport in the UK or Ireland. As a matter of fact the UK infrastructure cannot cope in snow, rain or even sun.


Agreed 100%!
 
mjoelnir
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:09 am

 
Mangs
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:23 am

devron wrote:
Oslo? Doesn't have partly heated parking stands? Google didn't result in a postive hit so it might be a fairy tail...


They do have heating on most of the stands.
 
ACYYZA345
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:27 am

YYZ comes to mind and they have their excellent central deicing facility.
 
bwohlgemuth
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:33 am

Can we reply with the worst (or the ones that should know better?)

I'm looking at you ORD....
 
LH658
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:36 am

IST sucks in snow. YYC and ZRH is good.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:48 am

ACYYZA345 wrote:
YYZ comes to mind and they have their excellent central deicing facility.


Agreed!
 
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FoxtrotSierra
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:52 am

bwohlgemuth wrote:
Can we reply with the worst (or the ones that should know better?)

I'm looking at you ORD....


Yeah, left that one out on purpose :duck:

You would think that being one of the biggest (and coldest) airports in the country, they’d get their shit together, but it is complete chaos anytime I fly through ORD in a snowstorm. DTW and DEN are the best to fly through not only because of their experience with cold weather, but because aircraft can taxi MUCH faster due to the linear and open layout of the airport in snowy conditions than at tight, turning taxiways at ORD, and the very wide open spaces ensure that no plane blocks the entire taxiways preventing other planes from passing during the mad dash to takeoff before holdover expires. MSP also does well, less because of the layout, and more because of the fact that it (probably) gets the most snow of any major US airport and is thus the best equipped to handle it.
 
BestWestern
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:00 pm

Any of the eastern Russian airports.
Greetings from Hong Kong.... a subsidiary of China Inc.
 
jco613
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:25 pm

SYR bar none hands down for USA
 
putthoff
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:34 pm

:thumbsup:
jco613 wrote:
SYR bar none hands down for USA
 
MainelyRick
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:42 pm

Off the main circuits but BGR crews do an amazing job keeping the runways plowed. Probably has to do with military transient and ME ANG tankers at a convenient post Atlantic crossing point, Runway 11K ft. plus. Used to be Dow AFB until early 60s. Runways maintained since. Airline use is minimal.
 
mjoelnir
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:50 pm

KEF

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DL-OtJBhhE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KGxLMQ5ctw

Somme equipment is still from the odd times when KEF was a US Navy station. The conga line is rather new.

older times former conga line https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_OClSZtVPg
 
Biged
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:01 pm

Alb
 
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bluefltspecial
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:16 pm

I fly through ARN/CPH/OSL/ZRH on the regular, so this are just my personal observations

ARN does get snow, however, due to it's proximity to the Eastern side, it would seemingly appear to get less snow. It should be pointed out that last year, ARN got it's snowiest Nov with a whopping 30 cm (that's about a foot for you non-standard folk).

CPH has lots of wind and rain, which they do amazingly well with. While they do get the occasional rain/fog storm, they do not get large amounts of snow as their Scandi City counterparts up north do, and while it does see snow, I have rarely seen large or heavy accumulation. Either way, minimal delays if any going in/out.

OSL last year had about 180 cm of snow, 270 cm in 2015, and 116 in 2014. The only weather delay I encountered in OSL was in May of this year, when we had to unexpectedly deice due to a large storm which produced significant small hail, which refused to melt on the wings (I'm guessing due to the low temp of the fuel in the wings from the inbound aircraft). No joke.

ZRH is hit and miss every other year, at least when I'm traveling. Some winters it seems like nonstop snow, others nothing but diamond dust. In any case, whether it's heavy snow or or flurries, like their Scandi counterparts, it's just another day and things like deicing and snow removal are planned into departures. Aside from arrival equipment delays, I've had no real weather related delays from ZRH.
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NDiesel
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:27 pm

CNN's Business Traveller made a segment from OSL on how the airport deals with snow. It's pretty impressive.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1vQzKlQ-Hg
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mjoelnir
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:07 pm

I think the biggest problems is, when traffic planning assumes best possible conditions for normal operation and bad conditions is not part of the plan.
 
Dalmd88
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:13 pm

I have to give a vote to my old hometown airport, SYR. They are expecting a good ten inches of snow tonight. Rate of 1-2 inches per hour. Topped off with high winds.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:46 pm

Game Playing: what weather (icing, snow removal, where to stockpile snow, fog, combinations thereof, etc) at particular airports causes the most delays, spend money there first; when snow comes what is the dynamics of delays - often it is crews, and passengers getting to the airport - not in the control of airport; cancelling flights, diversions, alternate airports are also possible tools. How much slack in terms of usage does a given airport have; Better short term weather forecasting (24 hour, 2-3 days and 4-7 days out) are good tools and need improvement.
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sharles
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:38 pm

In any case, I'd say this is often an issue of costs vs benefits. If there is snow like once every three years, or there is uncharacteristically catastrophic snow, it may as well be way cheaper for everyone to just divert on those days, instead of investing capital in snowclearing equipment that will sit rusting 99.99% of the time. So if an airport is bad at clearing snow, the reason, IMHO, is that it plans on not being good as there is no need to be good.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:24 pm

Zürich and Vienna for me. Never been to Helsinki, Arlanda or Oslo, but I can't imagine that they would be anything other than experts at it up there.

downtown273 wrote:
kruiseri wrote:
HEL, ARN and OSL


I'd probably add CPH to it. I flew out of CPH every couple of days for 3 years, and I was never delayed due to weather conditions.


I would hesitate to call it winter weather though. You'll be lucky to have actual winter weather more than once every 7 years here. It rarely snows, the temperature barely ever drops below 0 for extended periods. I experience far more icing conditions and de-icings in Central Europe than I ever did in Denmark. Denmark is located right in the middle of the gulf-stream, surrounded by comparatively warm waters, consistently making for some pretty miserable rainy weather. Copenhagen Airport is located right by the water too, so the temperature will even be a degree or two warmer than in more central parts of Denmark.
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:42 am

kruiseri wrote:
HEL, ARN and OSL

No contest really...


I agree. Although I have to wonder why you list ARN and OSL there :-)

The snow-hits-the-fan video:

https://www.finavia.fi/en/news-room/new ... o-problem/
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:24 am

Fun as it may be, it is not really fair to compare IST or LHR for snow clearing with ARN or OSL. On the one hand you have airports that get snow maybe once every few years for a couple of days, and on the other hand airports that must expect snow for long periods every year. If you're investing in infrastructure at LHR, there are better ways to spend your money than on snow clearing and de-icing equipment. Sure, when you do get snow at LHR it is chaos, but it's not exactly a common recurring issue.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
2Holer4Longhaul
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:52 am

Best has been said, so I would like to touch on worst:
JFK (laughing stock even for countries that suck at handling snow, like Israel)
ORD
LGA (actually just the worst at everything)
I'm glad it doesn't snow in SF, because that airport can barely handle air in the way.
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mjoelnir
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:11 am

Starlionblue wrote:
Fun as it may be, it is not really fair to compare IST or LHR for snow clearing with ARN or OSL. On the one hand you have airports that get snow maybe once every few years for a couple of days, and on the other hand airports that must expect snow for long periods every year. If you're investing in infrastructure at LHR, there are better ways to spend your money than on snow clearing and de-icing equipment. Sure, when you do get snow at LHR it is chaos, but it's not exactly a common recurring issue.


It is not unfair. If airports that get snow once every few years have a catastrophe with amounts of snow that hardly gets an more northern airport to sweet, than something is wrong.
It is not that LHR or FRA gets never snow. This better invest in something else argument is fatal. What else has such an destructive influence on operations like weather.
If you have already problems with the amount of traffic under the best weather conditions, you perhaps have to scale down traffic to manageable numbers and calculate some slack.

Weather being unpredictable, is today in reality a bad excuse, as weather is quite predictable today. The problem is that some airports and airlines can little do with those accurate prediction, because there is only plan A, operation under ideal weather conditions.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:18 am

Why bother investing a ton of money on equipment and training that almost never gets used? Cheaper to shut down or massively delay ops for the duration.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:05 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
Why bother investing a ton of money on equipment and training that almost never gets used? Cheaper to shut down or massively delay ops for the duration.

And yet this is exactly what local authorities do in order to keep roads open.
Besides , the actual amount of snow that hits LHR is never (repeat never) more than a sprinkling. It is jammed between London itself, and the sub-tropical Thames Valley, both of which enjoy balmy weather all year around, aided by millions of computers generating local hotspots 24/7.
Elsewhere in the UK there may be genuine problems, but the real issue with LHR is the UK road network, and the fact that tens of thousands of passengers might get stranded and miss their flights. Or worse still, turn up late at Heathrow, and then clutter up the terminal buildings for the next 24 hours.

Back in Dec 2009, with motorways, ordinary roads, and even train services around the UK at a standstill due to "unprecedented" snowfalls, that in most countries would barely raise an eyebrow, one train managed somehow to get through. It was an Xmas special hauled by a steam locomotive, 60163 "Tornado". :rotfl:

Image
The owners of Tornado had 100 spare seats on their "special", and offered them for free to some very lucky ordinary passengers stranded at London Victoria stn.
Part of me wonders if that steam train was operated by volunteers and/or non-union crew. Maybe that was the difference?

I am fairly comfortable that most aircraft themselves can manage these light snowfalls, particularly those with reverse thrust braking. However I expect somebody will correct me that there are minimum braking requirements in such circumstances, and especially in case of partial or total engine failure.

And for those who have never met LHR in the snow, be assured that even when there is white stuff on the deck, air temperatures rarely drop beyond mildly uncomfortable, and a simple application of salt will melt the snow/ice, and maintain that situation. Vehicles for spreading grit & salt are hardly a massive investment, do not require exhaustive training to operate, and can dress the average runway in between landings.

Finally, for our foreign readers, the UK is warmed by the Gulf Stream, and thus enjoys far milder temperatures than mainland Europe just a couple of hundred miles away.

The bottom line is that lack of investment saves the owners of Heathrow a small amount, but costs the country as a whole a vast sum. That can't be right.

Behold Leeds/Bradford LBA, with services disrupted due to the UK's version of a "bad winter".

Image
Full story (together with this picture) ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of ... nd_Ireland
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tjwgrr
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:00 pm

I have to put in a plug for my hometown airport GRR. We get some pretty significant snowfalls- lake effect and regular storms- and have the equipment to handle it:

Image

Image

Photo credits: https://www.facebook.com/GeraldRFordInternationalAirport/
Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
 
bwohlgemuth
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:02 pm

FoxtrotSierra wrote:
You would think that being one of the biggest (and coldest) airports in the country, they’d get their shit together, but it is complete chaos anytime I fly through ORD in a snowstorm.


My ORD avoidance timeframe is December through March. ZERO chance I will get a connecting/originating flight through that mess.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:27 am

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
Why bother investing a ton of money on equipment and training that almost never gets used? Cheaper to shut down or massively delay ops for the duration.

And yet this is exactly what local authorities do in order to keep roads open.
Besides , the actual amount of snow that hits LHR is never (repeat never) more than a sprinkling. It is jammed between London itself, and the sub-tropical Thames Valley, both of which enjoy balmy weather all year around, aided by millions of computers generating local hotspots 24/7.
Elsewhere in the UK there may be genuine problems, but the real issue with LHR is the UK road network, and the fact that tens of thousands of passengers might get stranded and miss their flights. Or worse still, turn up late at Heathrow, and then clutter up the terminal buildings for the next 24 hours.

Back in Dec 2009, with motorways, ordinary roads, and even train services around the UK at a standstill due to "unprecedented" snowfalls, that in most countries would barely raise an eyebrow, one train managed somehow to get through. It was an Xmas special hauled by a steam locomotive, 60163 "Tornado". :rotfl:

Image
The owners of Tornado had 100 spare seats on their "special", and offered them for free to some very lucky ordinary passengers stranded at London Victoria stn.
Part of me wonders if that steam train was operated by volunteers and/or non-union crew. Maybe that was the difference?

I am fairly comfortable that most aircraft themselves can manage these light snowfalls, particularly those with reverse thrust braking. However I expect somebody will correct me that there are minimum braking requirements in such circumstances, and especially in case of partial or total engine failure.

And for those who have never met LHR in the snow, be assured that even when there is white stuff on the deck, air temperatures rarely drop beyond mildly uncomfortable, and a simple application of salt will melt the snow/ice, and maintain that situation. Vehicles for spreading grit & salt are hardly a massive investment, do not require exhaustive training to operate, and can dress the average runway in between landings.

Finally, for our foreign readers, the UK is warmed by the Gulf Stream, and thus enjoys far milder temperatures than mainland Europe just a couple of hundred miles away.

The bottom line is that lack of investment saves the owners of Heathrow a small amount, but costs the country as a whole a vast sum. That can't be right.

Behold Leeds/Bradford LBA, with services disrupted due to the UK's version of a "bad winter".

Image
Full story (together with this picture) ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of ... nd_Ireland


The aircraft can handle the light snowfall operationally. Braking action is not the problem. Limited deicing equipment is. You can clean the runways all you want but if there's snow on the plane we can't go. Side note: Temperatures that "rarely drop beyond mildly unconfortable", which I presume means around zero, are actually worse than, say, -20, since the snow will be wet and heavy.

Still, though, we're talking the occasional day every few years. Is it really worth investing millions in stuff that is almost never needed? I'm not convinced.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Bostrom
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:54 am

ARN has a policy to never close due to weather, and has some impressing equipment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-dUwHReM7s

They did however have to close the airport in 2012 for a couple of hours due to heavy snowfall. But of the planned 669 aircraft movements that day, 260 (38%) actually happened. But 60 persons working full time using 70 vehicles removed in total 200.000 m3 of snow that day. Compare that to the winter 2011/2012 when in total 250.000 m3 of snow was removed from the airport.
 
Aircellist
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:20 am

I suppose YUL is somewhere in the higher area of that list… ?
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shamrock137
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:28 pm

MHT has a reputation of never closing due to snow. They've served as a diversion airport for BOS, BDL, JFK etc during northeast blizzards. CLE had a solid operation as well when they were a CO hub. A big contributing factor to an airports ability to stay open is air traffic volume. Smaller airports like BUF, MHT, etc can have plow teams on the runways all day and not have to worry too much about letting aircraft land, while larger airports like JFK, EWR, IAD etc have nonstop traffic meaning they will need to stop arrivals, clean the runway, then let the backlog of aircraft holding land, then restart the cycle of closing the runway, more flights holding etc which eventually can lead to diversions.
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isgx
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:11 pm

Domodevo
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CitizenJustin
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:05 pm

FoxtrotSierra wrote:
Haven't seen this topic posted anywhere so I thought I'd ask.

What airports excel in snowy conditions due to the combination of airport layout, deicing capability, and just plain efficiency from an ops perspective? For obvious reasons, ATL, DFW, LAX are irrelevant here, this concerns major airports with a lot of snow.

Some of the best I have seen are DTW, MSP, and DEN, but that could be because they get some of the heaviest snow in the country and are trained the best to deal with it.


Can’t forget good ol’ Anchorage, or Barrow alaska,
 
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Web500sjc
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Re: Most efficient airports in winter? (Snow)

Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:20 pm

At least in the US, the thing that separates the good de-ice hubs from the bad ones have to do with the location and centralization of the de-ice facility. Generally- DTW, MSP, YUL, YYZ have large deice facilities that out of the way and are near the runways allowing a plane that has been de iced to immediately proved to the departure runway with out having to wait in the elements and potentially exceed holdover times. Compare that to JFK... there are small de icing areas everywhere on the field- the de-icing areas may be on the opposite side of the field from the runway- and they impede the normal flow of traffic in and around the terminals
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