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First assignment for winter service team at the airport

01.12.2017: Winter service has got its hands full/ surfaces cleared from ice and snow/ teams continually at work/ 20 vehicles and 52 staff take care of snow and ice removal at airport

Bereit für Eis und SchneeBereit für Eis und Schnee

Snow at last! Everyone is happy about the first snow flakes, the Christmas markets have already opened their gates attracting guests with the smell of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine and the winter sport regions around Salzburg welcome the first skiers with snow capped mountains. It takes a number of people to ensure that streets, motorways, sidewalks and the airport, of course, are cleared from ice and snow. Especially here, at the airport, it is essential to keep the runway, taxiways and the apron free from snow and ice. Yesterday, Thursday 30th, was the first Snow-Cleaning-Operation-Day for the traffic area at Salzburg airport.

“For the Salzburg Airport Snoweam it is an every-year-challenge. No two years are alike. We work with state-of-the-art equipment and we are well prepared. We had the first snow falls yesterday and everything went smoothly – just like every year. Snow belongs to Salzburg just like Mozart or the Salzburg Festival”, explains Bettina Ganghofer, CEO of Salzburg Airport.


The preparations for winter season already start in the middle of summer: de-icing chemicals are ordered, equipment is checked and maintained and duty roasters set up. By the way: we differentiate between two areas of de-icing: de-icing of aircrafts which the ground handling services take care of and snow removal and de-icing of the airport surfaces, which is ensured by our winter service staff. The team consists of 52 employees as well as two external staff-members from Bavaria.


With 20 vehicles all external surfaces are cleared mechanically without the use of de-icing chemicals. All processes are coordinated in advance. If necessary, the snow clearing fleets will be on duty 24 hours a day, the teams taking turns. If de-icing chemicals are needed, only special vehicles will be used to apply liquid or solid chemicals on the traffic areas. These agents are almost 100% biodegradable. We do not use salt and grit!


“Beside regular road tests on the runway by our Airside Operation Manager, Salzburg Airport has a rapid alert system which works with the help of three electronic probes embedded in the runway that provides information on freezing point, temperature of dew point as well as soil and air temperature”, says Richard Moser.

Did you know that it takes no more than 10 minutes to clear the runway from snow? Our winter service teams are alerted by an automated calling system.

“I was just asked a few days ago, if I preferred not having any snow falls. Definitely not! Snow is very important for Salzburg and neighbouring Bavaria. That is exactly why tourists come to us for enjoying relaxed winter holidays in a snow-covered landscape. At the end of the day, it is these guest who contribute significantly to the economic wealth in our region and guarantee thousands of jobs – especially in the tourism industry”, says Richard Moser.