Fraport Twin Star Airport Management
On November 26, 2020, the annual full-scale snow cleaning training was held at Varna Airport, with the conduction of a technical performance check of all specialized snow removing vehicles and equipment.
The training was based on a scenario of heavy, wet snow at an outdoor temperature of 0°C with gusts of wind from north-northwest at a speed of 6 meters/second.
Before the start of the snow removal exercise on the runway, the AOC shift manager convened all participants and ordered an inspection of all vehicles and equipment. The air traffic controller issues NOTAM for runway closure due to snow cleaning.
It is widely known that winter conditions impose very quick fluctuations in the weather, which necessitate a constant monitoring of the meteorological conditions and additionally require dynamic coordination of the actions of all employees involved in the snow removal activities.
Consequently, the training scenario called for worsening weather conditions, intensified winds, heavy snowfall, and a sharp drop in air temperature, which create conditions for icing and accumulation of a greater amount of snow cover.
The heavy snowfall requires measures to protect the lighting alongside the runway. It also requires deicing treatment to be applied to the runway.
During such drills, various events take place; such as having one of the specialized vehicles break down on the runway and necessitate tug assistance from the fire brigade – to pull the vehicle out with a Rosenbauer Panther fire truck.
The full-scale snow removal training showcased the level of preparedness of the team and the available equipment, opening up opportunities to improve all coordination actions. We are now officially ready to welcome the winter!