The airport’s commercial responsibilities include remaining open during scheduled hours of operation. This also means it is responsible for clearing the snow and de-icing.
The airport takes care of the mechanical clearing of snow with the aid of ploughs and snow-blowers, also using chemical de-icers to maintain operational surfaces and aircraft. Urea is used, a chemical de-icing fluid which is 100% bio-degradable.
There is a black-ice warning system which constantly checks the ground and air temperatures by means of highly sensitive sensors. The most exact temperature measurements are taken in the take-off and landing areas of the runway. This information makes it possible to use the ground de-icing chemicals in an extremely environmentally friendly way.
The airport owns snow ploughs, snow-blowing machines, snow cutters and liquid runway de-icers. At Salzburg Airport, the clearing of the snow is done by 10 so-called "winter service units". Each unit consists of a truck with a plough and snow blower.
In the case of aircraft de-icing, an airplane is freed from ice and snow. This process is necessary for safety reasons, because ice and snow increase the aircraft weight and adversely affect aerodynamics.