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40 non-hub airports, attempting to enhance SA, provided a "All vehicles are accounted for before opening a run- poster-size layout of the airport, covered it with laminate, and way by Maintenance leads and Ops Duty personnel placed it in the ATCT for use by the controllers. The idea is on the runway." for the controller to use erasable markers to identify those Sample Small-Hub Airport Response areas where snow removal equipment is operating or where "Third party (ops) does a final check to make sure snow a movement area is closed. This acts as a quick visual removal equipment is clear." reminder to the ATCT controller. "Operations is last to clear the runway after snow crews." Two other large-hub airports enhance SA by stationing an "Primary practice is for crew lead to have overall operations manager in the ATCT to better facilitate commu- responsibility for tracking staff/equipment and reports nication with the equipment operators and tower personnel. when all clear. ATCT verifies, Ops verifies." This arrangement is somewhat unique in that many ATCT Sample Non-Hub Airport Responses facilities do not allow anyone other than FAA employees in "Written policy--vehicles work in company teams, the tower cab. However, with the nature of operations at these each team leader is responsible to ensure his com- particular airports, which is to routinely open and close airport pany is clear and to report clear to ground control." sections and to have teams of snow removal vehicles engaged "Previous experience at nontowered airport . . . all in winter operations, the practice proves to be valuable in monitor CTAF (only one crew leader communi- increasing alertness, coordination, and communication. cates with aircraft). Crew leader makes assignments and tracks progress. Crew leader verifies all clear ENSURING VEHICLES ARE CLEAR and reports same to aircraft. Directs staff on/off the OF A RUNWAY runway." "If the ATCT is open, they clear vehicles over the A question on the synthesis survey asked vehicle operators to frequency; if ATCT is closed, airport operations describe some of the practices, procedures, methods, or tech- issues a NOTAM requiring 15 min prior permission niques used at their airport for assuring all winter operation for landing/takeoffs and controls all vehicles on vehicles were clear of a runway or a particular area when CTAF." opening the runway to air traffic. "A dedicated Ops Manager works directly with the runway snow team. This Ops Manager is in direct The typical response contact with the tower at all times, the snow team Airport operations visually inspects to make sure vehi- moves in close coordination with the tower." cles are clear of runways. Sample General Aviation Airport Response Visual inspections by the person who's opening it. "When ATCT needs equipment to clear the runway Sample Large-Hub Airport Response for an operation, the ATCT notifies the Snowboss via "Smaller tightly controlled teams of drivers and equip- the tower frequency. The Snowboss then notifies all ment. Two crew leads for Maintenance personnel. plows via an 800 mhz radio system. As each plow On Runway and Taxiway, Onsite Ops Duty Manager clears the runway, they report clear to the Snowboss coordinating opening/closures with FAA Tower. All via the 800 mhz radio. Once the Snowboss has noted vehicles have two-way radio communication with all equipment clear of the runway, he or she advises Leads and Ops personnel. Leads and Ops personnel the ATCT via the tower frequency." have additional communication with FAA Tower." "The airfield snow team has three sets of eyes and Two airports indicated they conduct their winter opera- vehicles watching them, the Team Leader, the Oper- tions as if they were emergency situations and they utilize an ations Officer assigned to the team, and a follow-up Incident Command System (ICS) similar to their emergency vehicle that works very close with the team leader. plan operation: The follow-up vehicle operator is watching how the team is cleaning the area as well as calls when the team "[We] work an Incident Command System for snow is clear of runways and taxiways." removal operations." Sample Medium-Hub Airport Response "During a snow event, airport operations activates our "Our standard procedures are to close the crosswind snow desk which is an old ATC tower overlooking runway during periods of snowfall. We also task our the eastside of our airfield. It will be manned 24/7 until duty manager with the responsibility of doing a final the storm passes and proper removal is completed for inspection after snow vehicles are clear of the runway. safe traffic. Operations manager and/or officers oversee This ensures that the pavement is in an acceptable maintenance or outside contractors during process. condition and that all vehicles are clear of the runway We communicate on an assigned radio channel to mon- and there is no debris on the pavement. Only after the itor all movement and progress. Once a movement area inspection is complete and the runway certified is the is clear for traffic, ops will then coordinate with ATC pavement given back to the ATCT for use." for opening."