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Clearing snow from the airport in Minot

Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 5:28 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. – For the operations crews at Minot International Airport, a winter storm is a battle to keep the runway clear and planes on time.

A couple of days after the latest winter storm, technicians like Brandon Davis are still working hard to keep things clear.

“It was coming down pretty good this last weekend, so we had to bring the plows out, and just keeping one broom out, and just trying to keep everything else back with the plow. Just doing our best to keep it at bay so then we can get some planes in here,” said Brandon Davis, operations technician.

They prioritize the main runway, starting from the centerline out. Snowblowers move the snow mounds farther out, so they don’t clip any wings.

“As soon as the snow flies, we are out there. A municipality can wait until the snow accumulates a few inches because vehicles can still travel. For aircraft, not so much, we need to be out there as soon as it hits and we don’t stop until the snow stops and things are cleared up,” said Deanna Stoddard, airport operations manager.

Many of them got into the job because they dreamed of flying, but not everyone can be a pilot. This is their way to support air travel in and out of the Magic City.

“I’ve just been in love with aviation since fifth grade, and I thought about flying, but it’s really expensive. I figure coming out here I get to deal with aviation a lot more, and make a positive impact,” said Davis.

Crews here said they weren’t responsible for any of the delays or cancellations, and they take pride in knowing the snow here was clear.

The manager said they have ten staff that work around the clock, and put in a lot of overtime during storms, and that they’re hiring.

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