For the second year in a row, the snow and ice management team at Denver International Airport was awarded the prestigious Balchen/Post Award, which recognizes airports for swift and efficient snow and ice management while keeping their airport ops running.
DIA won in the large commercial airports category. For DIA that includes a 53-square-mile domain that makes it the country’s largest commercial airport in land mass. The airport manages snow removal on six runways, 300 lane miles of roads and over 23 football fields worth of parking space. More than 500 employees work at DIA to manage snow and ice. The airfield has closed only six times in its 26 years of operation.
As a side note, the movie Airport comes to mind whenever I hear about airport snow removal ops. For a trip down memory lane, CLICK HERE to watch the movie's trailer. Fast forward to 1:59 for the best soundbite.
If your not familiar with this mid-70s star-studded blockbuster movie, George Kennedy's character has to get a 707 unstuck from a massive snow drift that's blocking the runway and preventing an arriving plane from making an emergency landing. In one scene George is barking orders at a shovel crew that tasked with freeing the plane -- by hand.
Oh, and did I mention there was a bomb on the approaching plane, too?
Mike Zawacki is Editor of Snow Magazine.