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How the Pocatello Airport deals with winter weather

Dealing with snow at the Pocatello Airport

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Friday and Saturday brought the first significant snowfall of the season to southeastern Idaho and Monday only brought more. In some areas, road conditions became dangerous, so much so that the Idaho State Police urged travelers use caution after a string of accidents. 

More than eight inches fell in parts of Pocatello from Friday to Monday, but the precipitation had little to no impact on the Pocatello Airport. 

"Our operations and maintenance guys are continuously out here working to try to keep the flight lines open," airport manager Benjamin West said as the snow fell Monday. "You know it'd take a pretty major storm to have to shut down operations." 

West's teams have spent the past few weeks preparing for the event of snow and spent Monday constantly monitoring runway conditions. Using a runway condition assessment matrix, the maintenance team is able to determine the conditions on a scale from zero to six. 

"Six means there's no contaminants: snow, ice, water and that's a good thing. Zero would be the worst and we would have to close the runway at that point," West said. 

Currently, three flights a day come in and out of the Pocatello Airport. All coming from, or going to, Salt Lake City. West said that many of the delays the airport actually deals with stem from issues in other cities. 

"You know, sometimes the factors may not necessarily be at the local area, it could be anywhere from Salt Lake City to Denver," he explained. 

Attempting to prevent any delays today, the airport had snowplows and snow brooms out on the runway, with additional personnel deicing planes. 

According to West, the snow has not had any impact so far, but this weekend was the first major snowfall of all long season to come. 


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