JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – A big blast of winter weather is keeping the Jackson County Airport busy clearing runways.
When you add up all the runways, the airport has over 80 acres of pavement that has to be cleared every time the snow flies.
“We have all the challenges here at this smaller airport that big airports face, even more so in having limited staff and limited equipment,” said Airport Manager Kent Maurer.
Crews can only use sand because salt will rust airplanes.
Maurer says they have to make sure they clear every bit of snow from the runway.
“You can’t leave ridges across the center of the opposite crossing runway. So we do a lot of backing up and do what we call back plowing. It’s is a very unique thing to plow runways and taxi ways. It’s an art and a science,” Maurer said.
When there’s a snow event like this, crews often clear snow all day just to keep up.
Friday was a slow day for the airport, which mostly serves corporate and private aircraft, but planes are still hitting the skies.
Maurer says it’s important for them to stay open even during a snow storm in case there’s an emergency in the air or on the ground.
“We do the best that we can to keep the runway in the best condition we can with the staff that we have and the equipment that we have,” Maurer said.
As long as the snow continues to fall, the airport manager says crews will be out making sure the runway is safe.