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OCR for page 33
33 it is up to the snow team to have the runway ready when "Although we strive for minimal delays and disruptions the airplane arrives." in operations when in winter operations at our medium- "Our non-hub airport has only one primary runway. hub airport, it is expected that there will be delays. This When it is closed it affects a lot of people. Bare and dry helps. However through comprehensive training and is the safest condition on an airport and we want to get planning efforts throughout the year, we are able to mit- there as soon as we can." igate those delays and disruptions." Safety and Personal Pressure Management of Expectations The following pressures reflect a portion of the actual pres- "Maintaining accurate levels of expectations regarding sures experienced during any one snow event: timelines for the reestablishment of airport operations." "Education to corporate pilots, FBOs, etc., of what Pending Lifeflight departures or organ donor flights, operators (snow removal) are up against." Being called in late followed by broken equipment, and "Personnel and equipment have certain maximum lev- The desire to reduce the impact to aircraft operations. els of productivity. Educate the persons outside those directly involved that clearing the runway is not a The pressures come from many sources because of the dif- 15-min operation." ferent goals that each source seeks as an outcome. Snow "Pressure is a GOOD thing. It keeps us sharp and operat- removal stands in the way of achieving those individual or ing at our best. If it took us 2 days after a snowstorm to company goals. For instance, airlines seek on-time perfor- open an airport we wouldn't be helping any of our cus- mance, corporate operators seek business meetings, FBOs seek fuel sales, flight schools seek billable aircraft hours, charter tomers. People expect that weather should not affect operators seek contractual fulfillment, municipalities seek com- them in this space age. We try to accommodate that expectation. Besides, we NEVER compromise on safety. munity pride or economic impact, terminal tenants seek pas- We just work smarter and faster." senger business, employees seek job retention or family goals. "We are inadequately equipped and staffed for snow All of these competing goals center on having the runway open removal. Nevertheless we are expected to deal quickly and available for use. Reducing pressures on employees can be with snow. Either expectations must change or resources somewhat difficult as the following survey respondent implies: must be improved. Neither is likely to occur." I don't believe they [pressures] can be reduced. It is in the nature of the business that time is money and all the pavement areas Adequate Resources need to be cleared. That everyone who asks about it has a good reason for asking about it. "Improve forecasting and real-time weather data." "A wireless airfield so operations can update informa- MANAGING PRESSURES tion without having to go back to the office." "Sufficient and higher capacity snow removal The sense of urgency and the accompanying stress and fatigue equipment." is difficult to specifically identify as a cause of runway incur- "Sufficient manpower." sions or unsafe operations. An NTSB investigation would "More personnel and better equipment." normally cite those factors as being contributory rather than "Replacement of old and inefficient equipment." primary. The question of how to manage or mitigate the pres- "Additional equipment." sures was sought in the synthesis survey by asking, "how can "Additional operators." the internal and external pressures associated with resolving "Additionally, have an adequate number of personnel to or completing winter snow removal operations be reduced or have restful time off and breaks between weeks of minimized?" Responses can be grouped into four key areas: work; having first-class equipment and good mainte- preparation, management of expectations, adequate resources, nance; having the right equipment for the job, instead of and proper communication. trying to do the work with inadequate equipment; and providing adequate storage facilities for the equipment, material, and personnel." Preparation "Having ample manpower to maximize use of top-of- "I don't feel the pressure can really ever be reduced or the-line snow equipment in a timely fashion." minimized. As an airport operator, we have an obliga- tion to work in a quick and effective manner to keep our Proper Communication travelers flying. This also has to be conducted with safety in mind at all times. Preparation is key." "Getting direction from operation department. [Knowing] "The key approach is to establish priorities for which what they want cleaned before going out in the field so areas of the airport to plow and stick with it." you can bring the right equipment. Communication is the