Regional Airport Workers Brave Bitter Cold To Keep Air Traffic Moving

Workers at regional airports across Northern Michigan are trying to stay warm as they brave wind-chills that could make it feel like negative 30 degrees, and try and keep air traffic moving safely.

When the cold and wind really begin to pick up one of the places you are going to feel that especially, is on a big open space, like an airport tarmac.

Those at the Pellston Regional Airport say its conditions they are prepared for, and they working around the clock to make sure planes are able to take off and land.

“For the most part everybody’s real careful, they dress up for the elements, so when they come to work they are ready to go,” Airfield Supervisor Jeff Mallory, said.

Mallory says their shift starts at 4 a.m.

“We still have to operate, airplanes are still coming and going. Our operation is critical to the operation of the airport, without that snow removal nothing is getting in and out of Pellston,” Mallory, added.

It’s a nonstop day of plowing runways, de-icing planes and even checking the braking conditions for pilots.

Emmet Archuleta a pilot for a charter plane company says having cleared runways and good braking conditions is essential, he’s flying a group down to Florida.

“I think taking off out of here is going to be just fine, the wind really makes it look worse than it really is, there’s snow blowing but once you get on the runway its smooth,” Archuleta, explained.

Smooth runways thanks to some hard work in the bitter cold.

Strangely enough some of the workers here say when it’s this bitterly cold, it can actually help them, saying it makes the snow a lot fluffier and easier to move.

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