Severe weather is already having an impact on operations at airports across the Northern Hemisphere this autumn. As winter approaches, airlines operating across these regions will be preparing for even harsher climates.
According to a report written by the Government of Canada, 211 events at 76 Canadian airports could have been attributed to poor winter maintenance between 2010 and 2015. The publication goes on to say that airplanes were damaged due to several factors. These include:
- poor snow or ice removal
- poor communication with airport winter maintenance vehicles
- poor communication of the runway conditions at airports
Extra time needs to be reserved in to flights because each plane needs to have its wings de-iced before it takes to the air. Depending on the airport and the number of crews available, aircraft can be delayed further while waiting for other planes to get de-iced. Airport crews must ensure that the aircraft is properly de-/anti-iced prior to departure . Adding to the cost of the fluids themselves are the costs of:
- environmental protection
Airports prepare for frigid conditions by increasing staffing of ground workers. Furthermore, airlines moves some aircraft into heated hangars overnight.