Philadelphia International Airport’s (PHL) efforts to keep the runways, taxiways and roadways clear of snow and ice and the airport open during the busy winter 2020-21 season have been recognized by the Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (NEC-AAAE). PHL received honorable mention in the Large Hub category for the Balchen-Post Award for Excellence in the Performance of Airport Snow and Ice Control. The award was presented at the NEC-AAAE annual conference on August 16.
"Given that PHL is located in one of the region’s most impacted by snow in the country, this award is particularly remarkable,” said PHL CEO Chellie Cameron. “I am beyond thrilled that our staff is receiving the industry recognition they deserve.”
PHL has more than 40 million square feet of runways, taxiways and aprons (the equivalent of 631 lane miles or the distance from Philadelphia to Lexington, Kentucky) and an additional 11.9 million square feet (188 lane miles) of roadways, I-95 ramps and parking lots in and around the airport. During snow and ice events, PHL’s Pavement & Grounds (P&G) team works around the clock to keep these arteries clear for airline operations and passenger traffic, using a cadre of equipment that includes 12 Multifunction Plow/Broom Units (MBs) that plow and broom runways and taxiways at once; two Jet Brooms (JBs) that plow, broom and chemically treat runways and taxiways at once; and three chemical trucks to pre-treat surfaces with liquid deicer or, solid deicer if ice has formed. Their “tools of the trade” have names such as Snow Angel, Snowmizer, Snow Jawn, Silver Hawk and Heatmizer- all lovingly selected by the P&G team.
“This past winter was the first time in several years that we had multiple, measurable snow events,” said PHL Chief Operating Officer Keith Brune. “This award shows that our team was not rusty. They put in a lot of time for training and preparation before the winter to make sure they are ready to go if and when the snow falls. We are proud of their achievement.”