Tackling the Winy City's Winter Weather

 - September 20, 2006, 5:00 AM

DuPage has 10.8 million sq ft of pavement, including runways, taxiways, ramp area, roads and parking lots. When it snows, field crews clear an area equivalent to 102 miles of two-lane road. According to Michael Masciola, director of business development and marketing for the DuPage Airport Authority, the airport has won numerous awards for its snow removal prowess.

“We’re frequently the only GA airport in Chicagoland that remains open,” he said. “We’ll work around the clock to get the job done. One of the reasons we have more than 100 turbine-powered business aircraft based here is because we are able to keep the airport open in some of the worst weather the Midwest can serve up. We have been open during snowstorms when you couldn’t even drive to the airport. In 31 years we have been closed only one time due to weather. It was a severe ice storm in the 1970s.”

DuPage is a past recipient of the annual Bernt Balchen Award for excellence in battling the winter elements, presented by the International Aviation Snow Symposium. The DuPage staff has been rated outstanding for performance in snow and ice control, equipment readiness, personnel training and overall safety awareness.