Winter Operations

The challenge

Airport operations are massively complex (an understatement I know!) and this can be due to even the smallest of catalysts from a slight delay in flight time, a minor lack of communication between an airline and an operator, baggage handling, technical issues, time restraints, the list goes on! All contributing factors to this multifaceted operation can be made significantly worse by one thing, the weather!

Seasonal changes

Three out of the four seasons tend not to create too much diversity in the way airports are operated, both landside and airside, however, the dreaded winter season is a whole other ball game!

It is apparent to everyone within the industry that there is a consistent increase in competition between airlines, operators and airports and this competition, combined with the passengers’ need to travel more frequently, is putting even more pressure on the overall operation. When we take weather changes and challenges into account, there is only one direction for that pressure to go – up!

Country differentiations

Every country has a generic weather warning and these vary throughout the winter period from a light drizzle to multiple feet of snow! Each airport within each country are also different in terms of their weather conditions on a daily basis and it is significant to airport success for each operation to be tailored to the demands and needs to ensure optimal safety, efficiency and passenger experience!

Snow clearing and de-icing are some of the biggest challenges throughout the entire winter period and even the entire year – the level of technology used, the expertise of team members,  coordination, management and overall cohesion of countless elements are all contributing factors to the smooth running of airport operations during this time.

How can we manage these challenges?

  • Team expertise
  • Stakeholder collaboration and partnership
  • Strong coordination, leadership and management of the task at hand
  • Snow prediction technology and forecasting
  • Equipment
  • Choosing the right business partners
  • Preparation!

So ahead of the depth of the winter season, we wish all airport professionals luck and cross our fingers for no snow!

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