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An Inside Look at the Winter Operations at Dayton International Airport

As Mother Nature often reminds us, winters in Ohio can be unpredictable and bring snow and ice at any time. While you shovel and prepare your driveway for the snow, we do the same for our own home at Dayton International Airport (DAY)—only instead of a driveway, we have runways and taxiways.  The focus on winter operations does not just start in winter but preparations stay on the radar all year long.

As an airport, we have to be ready for anything when it comes to the elements and making sure that our runways are clear of snow and ice to keep flights on time. Ensuring your flights are easy to and through—even during the winter—takes extensive planning and hard work from the airport staff. Here’s a behind the scenes look at the winter operations of DAY.

Snow plow clearing airfield

Our Winter Team is Always Ready

The efficiency and safety of our snow and ice removal is something we are always focused on.  As we get closer to the winter season around September or October, we begin to meet with all of our tenants and stakeholders briefing them on our Airport Winter Operations Plan. Our team keeps a close watch on all weather forecasts so that when the snow does hit, we are already in a position to clear the way. Our maintenance team, with a fleet of plows, and snow brooms, work to remove snow as soon as any accumulation begins. It is an ongoing process as snow continues to fall so that the airfield remains safe and operational for all flights.

To make sure that the snow does not build up near runways and impedes flights, we have designated snow storage areas throughout the airport grounds where our team deposits the snow cleared from the runway paths. If ice is predicted, our team begins the deicing process after the snow is cleared by applying deicing materials and sand so the runways will be cleared for takeoff.  Salt is prohibited for use anywhere on the airfield as it can corrode the skin of most aircraft.

Our team works around the clock during winter storms to ensure flights can continue. If snowfall is forecasted throughout the night, we have a crew on stand-by that stays at the airport overnight to clear the airfield during the late hours of the night.


Safety is Our Biggest Priority

Our rigorous winter operations plan goes beyond just making sure the airfield looks clear of snow. When it comes to clearing the way for flights, our maintenance, and operation teams continuously monitors the condition of the runways and keeps in contact with our airlines and Air Traffic Control Tower to communicate the safety of takeoffs and landings.

While the airside grounds are getting prepared for flight, we are also keeping the roads leading into the airport and parking lots clear for your drive into DAY. We are committed to making your drive to the airport as easy as possible and that commitment is on full display during the winter months. With an entire airport to maintain, communication is the most important part of safely running flights during the winter months. Our team works with our airlines and other tenants to maintain constant communication so that we can do our best to get you to your destination in the event of snow. Remember, the airport does not cancel flights because of weather.  This is a responsibility of the airlines.  Passengers should always check with their airlines and on the airline’s websites if they have questions regarding the status of their flight.

If you are planning on traveling during the winter months, always be sure to allow yourself extra time to get to the airport in case of snow. Whether you’re looking to travel to somewhere warmer or enjoy the last weeks of winter in another city, we’ll be ready for you! Visit FlyDayton.com to book your next trip.