Thursday, January 19, 2017

Pocatello Regional Airport (KPIH) maintenance department keeps flights on time

This winter has been devastating for the roads around Pocatello, but it seems no matter how much it snows our local airports remain open.

Plows are working hard today at Pocatello regional airport.

Drivers on call 24/7, to make sure that planes can stay on schedule.

Alan Evans, the Maintenance Supervisor, said “Many times we'll plow the runway three four maybe five times in a day if the snow continues..."

This plow is 20 feet wide and while it isn't exactly a smooth ride, it moves a lot of snow.

The two runways, one over nine thousand feet long, the other at over seven thousand.

Don't forget the taxiways, ramps ,roads, and even parking lots.

Kristy Heinz, the administrative assistant, said "There are only three people that plow the entire airport including the airfield and the parking areas.... And considering they have to go all day long as long as we have flights to keep the runways open..."

 All though there are only three people on the job they have the equipment to get it done right and fast... Their plow... Specially made for airports and you’re not going to find it on the regular market.

Alan Evans said "This is an older truck right here that I’m running but they are expensive they are in the price range of about a half million dollars apiece..."

The trucks 20 foot blade is wide enough to clear a runway in 8 or 9 passes.

This winter has been very challenging and the three workers have put in a lot of overtime.

Kristy Heinz said "There have only been three employees cause they can only go as fast as they can go so they have to work all day Christmas all day new year’s... All the holidays and the weekends..."

But fortunately the workers have looked at it as a positive experience....

"We enjoy winter... If you didn't it would not be a good place to work but this has been a good winter for us and it's nice to have snow to plow..."

The only time where the runway has caused issues this year was last Monday when the runway was so icy, that heavy winds were pushing around the snowplows.

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