Airport operations crews prepare for winter weather - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Airport operations crews prepare for winter weather

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

Operations crew members face more than 30 hours of working in winter weather conditions to clear a path on the runways at Richmond International Airport. Chief Jim Nilo gave our cameras an inside look.

"The teams will report tomorrow at 7. They will get a safety briefing from their supervisor, and they will get the snow plan and what we are going to do. They will check out their equipment and make sure they have enough fuel on board and make sure everything is functioning properly," Nilo said.

Nilo, who has worked at the airport for the past 15 years, says his crews will report to a snow command center and respond to dangerous accumulations.

"Here, we are going to work to make sure the main runway, and the taxi way to and from that runway and the aircraft parking positions are clear," Nilo said.

About 20 crew members will work in 12-hour shifts to clear snow and put down de-icing chemicals on the runways. Plane de-icing is handled by the airlines.

"When we run down the runways, it usually takes 10 minutes down and 10 minutes back up four times, so about 40 minutes," said crew member Scott Walker.

Chief Nilo says the goal is to keep the airport up and running but that all depends on just how much snow and ice we get.

"We watch the forecast very closely and try to determine the start time of the event and the various staff members that will have those snow duties," Nilo said.

Airport officials say with this storm moving through several hub cities, it's important that you check the status of your flight before you leave to come out to the airport.

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