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34 key. If the team knows what they need to accomplish squall may reduce visibility to zero, we have the crews before they get out there, they take ownership of it." stop in place until the visibility improves. This situation "Proper communications and updates with tenant busi- would never occur on an active runway, only on a nesses, ATCT, and FSS." NOTAM'd closed piece of airfield pavement." "Solid communications--Involve local air traffic and "Our procedures ensure that SAFETY is never compro- local air carrier and/or airport users in every phase of mised. While we try to work quickly, I can give you snow removal from annual planning, individual event multiple examples of how we slowed down the opera- planning, actual operations, and a post-event review/ tion to make sure we were safe and the airfield was critique. Establishing credible expectations (forecasting operated in a safe condition. In 2005 we had a blizzard capacity) leading into an actual event is the best course that dumped 7 in. of snow in an hour. We suspended of action in relieving internal and external pressures. operations which resulted in closing the airport. It took Communicate to the users your performance goals and us 6 hrs to reopen with limited capability. But all our objectives, then exceed those expectations." operators and passengers were safe." "Our vehicle operators are in close contact with airline "At times you must defer to Mother Nature. Staff is operations personnel, who inform us when an aircraft is instructed to make decisions on runway and/or airport airborne and its estimated time of arrival. Good com- status by always erring on the side of safety; they are to munications and position report updates have pretty make decisions as if a loved-one is on the next arriving much eliminated the sense of urgency." or departing aircraft." "Our crews take great pride in maintaining the facility. Given that there are many competing goals placed on The previous "visual" perception that all pavement must snow removal operations and that there are four themes for be free of contaminant has been replaced with a "safety" mitigating the sense of urgency, it becomes incumbent on culture, confirmed by surface friction readings." airport management to seek and promote a unifying purpose for addressing these needs. That unifying purpose, as one The last comment reflects the growing emphasis on airports respondent said, is "to get everyone on the same page of establishing a safety management system. Mentioned previ- safety." ously, an SMS strives to develop a culture at an airport that would mitigate the pressures and other risk factors common "Heavy emphasis on Safety, Safety, and more Safety." to winter operations. "From my observations, safety is paramount when working with the snow team." "Safety first. Someone running off and flaming out or SUMMARY worse will cause a closure of possibly a day or more, so having to wait until the runway surface is acceptable/ Chapter seven identifies some of the factors that create pres- safe takes little time in comparison." sure and a sense of urgency for equipment operators, which "We hold a winter operations conference at the begin- can result in increasing the possibility of a runway incursion or ning of our winter operations season with all of the air collision risk. The pressures come from many sources because carriers and tenants. We hold a comprehensive review of the different and competing goals that each source seeks as session to remind everyone of the airport's procedures an outcome. The chapter identifies as common themes behind for winter operations response. This has helped tremen- the sense of urgency as being: customer service pressures, dously because when an event happens, the tenants are authority figure pressures, economic pressures, air carrier pres- aware of the procedures and know what to expect." sures, and safety and personal pressures. Examples from the "Build a trust relationship with airport, airline, and ATC responses of survey participants are provided. Also provided management that snow removal will be conducted as are responses to the question of how to manage or mitigate quickly as safety and conditions allow." the pressures. Responses were grouped into four key areas: "Snow removal operations usually shut down when visi- preparation, management of expectations, provision of ade- bility goes below 1/8 mi for safety considerations (highly quate resources, and having proper communication. The sense unusual)." of urgency is real for many airport operators and is considered "Unsafe snow removal operations are not tolerated here a collision risk factor that needs to be addressed by airport at our medium-hub airport. In a situation where a snow management.