Snow Removal at SHD

27.6 million pounds later…

When you think of snow, a day off from work or a cozy day inside might come to mind. At SHD, we think of snow a little differently. Our #1 concern is always safety and decreasing the impact of winter weather on operations. It’s a big job! Can you imagine if your driveway was 6,002 feet long – the length of our runway?!
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at some interesting facts and figures when it comes to managing snow at SHD!

Snow Removal By the Numbers

  • This area of Virginia averages 23 inches of snowfall a year.
  • 1” of snow equals on average 1 lb. of snow per square foot.
  • SHD’s runway is 6002’ long and 150’ wide. The adjacent taxiway is 6002’ long and 50’ wide. That is the equivalent to a 20-lane highway that stretches over 1 mile long!
  • The total square footage of the runway and taxiway is over 1.2 million square feet.
  • 23” inches on average of snowfall a year with 1.2 million square feet of pavement equals OVER 27.6 MILLION POUNDS of snow moved each year to keep YOU on schedule and getting wherever it is that you need to go!

The Snow Removal Strategy
During snow and other winter weather, our team is responsible for maintaining a safe operating area for aircraft by clearing runways, taxiways, and other surfaces. The airport has snow removal operations “airside” (runways, taxiways, and ramp areas) and “landside” (parking lots, and additional roads).

The SHD Snow Removal Team
SHD has approximately 20 trained snow removal personnel. Personnel experience is key to the success of each winter weather event. Majority of our personnel has over 10+ years of experience – several have over 20 years of experience!

Our Equipment 
SHD has approximately 15 pieces of equipment to handle both “airside” and “landside” operations. The equipment includes blowers, brooms, blades, plows, and spreaders. In 2017, SHD acquired two multi-task machines that can plow, sweep, and blow snow at the same time.

Each of these machines has a 20 ft. snow plow, an 18 ft. high-speed tow behind broom that spins upwards of 500 RPMs, and air blowers that blows air at speeds over 300 MPH! Below is a list of some other equipment that SHD uses to keep the airport going during winter weather.

  • 2 Volvo L60E Front End Loaders. Each of these includes a snow blower, ramp plow, and broom attachments.
  • Ventrac 4500Z 4×4 with a broom, snow plow, snow blower, and granulate spreader for the parking lots and sidewalks
  • Various other vehicles with snow plows for both landside and airside operations.

Click here to see a piece of our newest equipment in action last weekend!

As you can see, a lot goes into snow removal efforts at an airport! We are proud to say Team SHD is the best of the best at keeping your local airport open and operational. Next time the snow starts to fall, rest assured that we’re doing everything possible to keep your travel plans safe and seamless!