STAFF at the region’s largest airport were able to call on the Snow Team to keep thousands of passengers moving last month.
The group, made up of Newcastle International Airport workers operating snow ploughs, snow brushes/blowers, cutters and de-icing vehicles, stood up to the wintry weather – even when the showers lasted a number of hours.
The facility’s 1.5-mile-long runway was cleared fully 35 times in total by the team and operational staff between January 12 and 25, and it remained fully open for 99.5 percent of this period.
With support also coming from the motor transport, maintenance and engineering departments, as well as personnel from the Airport Fire Station, this meant there were no flight cancellations caused by the poor weather conditions.
Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, Dave Laws, said: “Our staff worked extremely hard during this period. The snow team, for example, were in operation for 770 hours in total when you add together the time each member spent dealing with the conditions, which is a huge undertaking and a great effort.
“Our operations team is dedicated to the task at hand and to their credit, their performance was outstanding. We have invested significantly in plant and machinery to ensure the operational teams remain fully equipped. Lessons are learned each winter and our strategy is adapted to fit the demands of the ever-changing weather conditions.”