Sunday, December 28, 2014

Hays Regional (KHYS), Kansas: New airport manager very familiar with snow removal process

Dealing with snow removal is nothing new for the new manager of the Hays Regional Airport.

Nathan Marcucci began his Hays job November 3, after serving as the Cherry Capital Airport operations supervisor in Traverse City, Michigan.  The city averages 102 inches of snow each winter, according to U.S. Climate Data.

In Hays, the average winter snow accumulation is 16 inches.

Nathan Marcucci
According to Marcucci, the decision to begin plowing the runways can be triggered in varying situations.  The Federal Aviation Administration and Skywest, the airport service provider, have different recommended snow removal guidelines.

“Where do you start plowing?  At what depth do you start plowing? As the airport manager, I’m going to make that decision (each snowfall) with my maintenance operator, Rick Hines, who has a lot of experience here. Sometimes the decision to plow works out well, sometimes it doesn’t.”

Plowing snow often creates ice on the runways and tarmac, another winter weather problem.

Marcucci said he’d like to get some new equipment at the airport, which would entirely change the decision-making process for snow removal.

“An airport sweeper simply sweeps the dry snow off the runways and decreases the chance of icing,” Marcucci explained, “so the decision about snow removal and its results is less (uncertain.)”

“One of my goals is to get an airport sweeper. It’s not going to happen for awhile because to takes a little bit to get the funding for it.

“In the meantime, I’m going to the best job I can with the equipment and knowledge that I have.”


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