The FAA’s Great Lakes region published a winter operations bulletin last week as a review of important winter airport operations. This stated that issuing a Notam to close a runway when snowplowing operations begin is an important priority.
At airports with operating control towers, pilots, as well as drivers of airport vehicles, should never assume tower personnel will be able to track their location on the field at all times, especially in poor visibility. Pilots and ground personnel should maintain two-way communications with everyone operating on the airport surface.
It’s also important for vehicle operators to reconfirm their clearances regularly with tower personnel, including any operational restrictions to avoid the possibility of controllers’ losing track of them.
Operations at non-tower airports are even more difficult without that extra set of eyes and ears listening on the common traffic advisory frequency. Vehicle operators must regularly announce their position on the airport, and pilots must announce when they are inbound on the approach, to be certain the runway is clear.