Throughout history, there have been many states, wait, countries thus, airports where low temperatures rarely get below freezing. Predictably, many of the aforementioned simply do not have the infrastructure and/or snow removal equipment to handle more than a flurry. There has simply been snow where it had no right to be.
I am not a scientist, not even close, but I truly believe you don’t have to be one to recognize that there’s been lot of snow-related weird weather thats induced some head scratching. Some would say that Climate Change may be making winter storms more frequent, or worse. Regardless of your personalized theories on this hotly debated topic, measurable, unexpected snow has impacted, and will continue to impact your community. So expect the unexpected.
Regrets in snow removal equipment preparedness are applicable when we don’t learn from a situation. A pragmatic approach would be seemingly most logical, particularly when you’re dealing with souls on board. Time for procuring equipment? My thoughts are that I’d rather regret the the acquisitions I have heavily researched more so than the things I have not. In airport snow removal, shortcuts make for long delays. You cannot wait around for your equipment to become good, it either is, or isn’t.
Lack of pavement friction due to inclimate weather is sometimes inevitable. You say, “not at my airport”. A notice for those of you, at any airport, anywhere, look around the world and take notice and fact find if you choose. So you have everything in place for an event do you?
Rome, Italy, Zagora, Morocco, Mexico City, Mexico, Guadalajara, Mexico, La Paz, Bolivia, Madagascar,Tehran, Iran, Ain Sefra, Algeria just to name a few. A bit closer to home, Los Angeles (Malibu), California, South Padre Island, Texas, Brownsville, Texas, Victoria, Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas, San Antonio and Austin. New Orleans, Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Amite, and Crescent City, Louisiana. West Palm Beach, Florida, Kendall, Florida, Homestead, and Fort Myers, Florida.
Whomever, and wherever you are, taking risks with your equipment selection should never be about loyalty to a company, just because of fear of change or transition. The real fact is, dogs are loyal. In a high risk, high reward environment, it wouldn’t seem prudent to accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful at every choice you make. In the Snow Equipment business, competition is fierce, with a lot at stake. Across the globe, it’s causing airports in every segment of the economy to place a greater emphasis on improving their snow plan and performance practices. Areas mentioned above must also come together and accept the “just in case” scenario and replace fear of the unknown with technological curiosity and a zero tolerance, prepared at all costs philosophy. Admitting to the consequences of failure is the first line of defense in creating an effective set of performance goals and measures. This takes time, teamwork, effort, and investment.
A goal in snow removal, small or large scale should be straightforward and absolutely essential. Tremendous pressure for better, more timely results exist not only because of the ultra-competitive airport marketplace, but the unprecendented levels of change in this busness, and our climate (again-your call). In the end, your ability to improve your performance and corresponding results will be dictated to the greatest extent by your ability to discern, develop, and master your procurement necessities. Get your key personnel involved in your planning processes, obtain their in-put and ideas, then demand that they take ownership of the process you have created. In-put from your stakeholders is critical to its success. Ultimately, accept and adapt to change in whichever way it manifest itself. Life at an airport is really simple when you have accurate information on the results that your work units are producing and only you can create the circumstances that can complicate it. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. The hardest thing to learn at your job may be which bridge to cross and which bridge to burn.
Be it an occassional snow and ice occurence, an abberation or a life-style, take a hard look at your airport and then another hard look at companies where where excellence is best described as doing the right things right–selecting the most important things to be done and then accomplishing them 100% correctly.