Crews Work Nonstop To Keep Indianapolis Airport Clear

Jan. 8, 2010


Snow fighting is serious business at Indianapolis International Airport, where crews have been working around the clock to keep things clear after Thursday's snow.

A team of 26 workers has been out on the runways and taxiways since 3 a.m. Thursday,

6News' Jennifer Carmack


For light, dry snow like that that fell on Thursday, snowplows are used to remove the bulk of the snow, while power brooms clear the snow down to the pavement, along with snow blowers that can move five tons of snow per hour.

Planes at the airport are also constantly being de-iced.

"It definitely depends on what type of (precipitation) we're having at the time," said Director of Airport Operations Michael Medvescek. "Right now, we're having a dry snow."

For wet, heavy snow, crews can't use salt-based products because they can corrode the planes. So they switch to another kind of chemical, which doesn't come cheap.

"If we have to coat the whole field, that's anywhere from $60,000 to $70,000 per application," Medvescek said, and runways oftentimes need to be treated four to five times in a 24-hour period.

Crews will work nonstop -- 12 hours on, 12 hours off -- for the next several days to make sure all runways are clear and safe.

"Safety comes first, and keeping the aircraft on the pavement," Medvescek said. "It's going to be a couple of days here, but we'll keep her running."

The airport hasn't closed since the blizzard of 1978.

Crews Work Nonstop To Keep Airport Clear

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