Ford Airport receives award for snow removal

A large snow removal truck called Blower 31 clears snow from runways at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Cascade Township. (Jan. 6, 2014)

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Gerald R. Ford International Airport has received an award for its snow removal efforts this winter, a Wednesday release said.

The Balchen/Post Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Airport Snow & Ice Control” was awarded to Ford Airport by the International Aviation Snow Symposium.

Ford Airport dealt with 116 inches — more than 9.6 feet — of snow this winter, according to the Wednesday release. Field maintenance crews were regularly clearing snow and ice from 1.5 million square yards of pavement.

“We all know how challenging this past winter was for our staff and that meant additional work and long hours making sure our airfield and operations were safe and secure,” airport Executive Director Brian Ryks said in a statement. “This is a tremendous achievement for our staff, and I cannot say enough about the hard working airport operations and field maintenance crews who are the recipients of this award.  We are very proud to be recognized as the best among our peers.”

The airport was recognized in the “small” category, indicating it deals in fewer than 100,000 takeoffs and flight each year.

On an average winter, Ford Airport says, it removes 83.7 million cubic feet of snow from the airfield. It says that’s enough to fill 20,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

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