Chopin Airport is ready for winter operations
Posted: 24 October 2011 | Chopin Airport | No comments yet
Thanks to its state-of-the-art snow-removal equipment Chopin Airport can maintain smooth operation even in heavy snowfall…
Last “Operation Winter” at Chopin Airport started on 25 November and continued until 25 March. According to the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management it was one of the coldest winters in Poland’s recent history.
Thanks to its state-of-the-art snow-removal equipment Chopin Airport can maintain smooth operation even in heavy snowfall.
According to data from the Polish Institute of Meteorology and Water Management, last winter was exceptionally cold. The average temperature during the three winter months was -3°C, i.e. more than two degrees colder than usual. Last December was particularly harsh, causing a transport chaos across Europe.
Chopin Airport Maintenance Service proved very well prepared for the blast of winter, having just bought six new MB2041/Øveraasen snow removal sets (each of which is equipped with a plough, a brush and a powerful blower mounted on a MAN-manufactured chassis) and a large Damman spreader, much more technologically advanced than the ones used previously. Thanks to the new equipment runway could be cleared in just one pass, during which time the older MB1929/Schorling units were used for clearing snow from from aprons and taxiways.
Because of changing weather conditions the equipment was in frequent use and much more de-icing chemicals were used than the year before (a 40% increase). Last year the so called “Operation Winter” cost the airport an all-time high of over 10.8 million zlotys, which included expenses on spare parts, i.e. sweeper brushes and plow blades as well as fuel and snow disposal.
Similar funds have been allocated for the 2011/12 season, although it’s hard to figure out the actual cost. “It always depends on the weather. If winter is long and severe, the cost is higher. But with the changing climate, it’s rather hard to predict,” says Marek Walczak, the head of Airport Pavements Maintenance Division.
September saw a delivery of four MB2041/Øveraasen units to Chopin Airport (the purchase was in 85% financed from the European Regional Development Fund). The runway sweeping train will now consist of ten new, highly-efficient vehicles. The nine older units will remain in operation, though, and will be used for clearing the apron and taxiways.
“We are well prepared for the upcoming winter. Rest assured that we will do everything in our power to make sure that passengers and cargo arrive in Warsaw on time and without problems,” adds Mr Walczak.
Chopin Airport is the biggest airport in Poland. It covers an area of 560 ha, including 140 ha of pavements subject to all-year maintenance. The airport has two runways (RWY), 3690m x 60m (RWY3) and 2800m x 50m (RWY1), a taxiway network and nine parking aprons, including two de-icing aprons and more than fifty parking stands.