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Winter weather at Columbus airports

Yellow snow plow clearing the ramp during a snow storm at CMH airport

Have you ever wondered how an airport operates during winter weather? Let’s talk about the ins and outs of how snow, ice, and wind can impact your travels, and how you can stay as prepared as possible:

What we — the airport — can control

As the airport, we’re responsible for a few things, but mainly clearing the airfield and keeping the airport as operational as possible. How does our snow team to do it?

  • Runways and associated taxiways are closed alternately for snow removal. This means if the team is working on the north runway, the goal is to have the south runway open and operational during that time for outgoing and incoming air traffic.
  • Major equipment used includes multi-function, snow brooms, plows, deice trucks and more.
  • The snow team, otherwise known as “snow dogs” (about 25 individuals), work 12-hour shifts around the clock, until the end of any winter weather event. For those winter storms that last several days, they don’t stop until it does.
  • While snow can be moved, ice is much trickier and requires extra attention (and extra time). If ice is in our forecast, be very careful and watch for untreated or iced-over surfaces.

Our airline friends

The airlines have robust schedules, and winter weather can sometimes cause delays and cancellations. Ultimately, that decision is made by our airline partners. They know best when it comes to their schedules and how they can operate. Here are some tips to keep in-the-know:

  • Download your airline’s mobile app – the most current flight status will be communicated via your airline
  • Check your flight status before leaving home the day of your flight
  • If you have any questions or concerns regarding your flight status or a delay or cancellation, contact your airline – they are your number one source for all information regarding your booking.

What can you do?

While we all work together to get you on your way safely, here are some things you can do along the way:

  • Give yourself extra time – roadways are bound to be snowy and/or icy. Factor in extra time in the winter for your commute to the airport and in the parking areas. (Pro tip: during the winter months, our parking garage is a great place to park to keep your car – and you – covered and out of the elements).
  • Pack your patience – we know it might sound cliche but there are extra steps needed during the winter to get you off the ground safely. De-icing is a vital role during the colder, winter weather, and even when the winds are gusty. Please give our crews the grace needed to make sure the de-ice solution is properly applied to your aircraft.
  • Sit back, relax – and enjoy the ride.

We hope everyone stays safe and warm through the winter months. Safe travels!

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