How Glasgow Airport is preparing for heavy snow and ice this winter

Grounds teams share how they prepare for adverse weather conditions after flights were halted due to snow earlier this month.

Preparation works for heavy snow and ice over the winter period are under way by ground teams at Glasgow Airport.

Chiefs at the busy airport said a considerable amount of planning, equipment and training is invested in preparing for the winter season throughout the year.

Ground staff monitor the weather 24/7, with ploughs and de-icers at the ready to help clear the runways and get planes ready to take off safely.

It comes after the airport ground to a halt due to “heavier than forecast snowfall” early in December.

Head of aerodrome operations Matthew Wilson said: “If we look at the worst case scenario and think there’s going to be significant snowfall, potentially upwards of up to 25 people are called on site and have to look at sustaining it. We can’t bring everyone in.

Grounds teams at the airport follow an action plan when dealing with snow and ice

“So, we’ve got the teams that do the runway and taxi way, the route out to the runway and teams that do the apron, where the airplanes park.

“Two teams that go out and then fundamentally we operate on a prioritisation basis and so that we clear the areas we need next.

“Around 250 flights come and go from this airport everyday.

“So, when there is a heavy fall of snow or lots of ice, the team here have an area two miles long and almost 50 metres wide to clear.”

Glasgow Airport was criticised by passengers after suspending all flights during heavy snowfall.

Around 250 flights leave the airport every day

Many compared the conditions here with other countries and their ability to deal with wintry weather conditions.

Interim chief operations officer Ronald Leitch said: “Whilst we’ve got the five snowbrushes behind us, you may find that airports in Canada, for example, will have other technology like heated runways.

“That’s a significant investment, multimillion pounds investment, which far exceeds the needs at Glasgow.

“I do sympathise with many customers that are disrupted. The last thing we as an airport and airlines want to do is to disrupt travel plans.

“But it looks at the scale of the investment for that type of technology and the need.”

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