Bangor International Airport crew work diligently to keep runway clear

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 6:02 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - When snowy conditions arrive, there’s quite the hustle and bustle, and we sometimes forget the folks who help keep our travel plans on task.

Maintenance crews at Bangor International Airport are working day and night to make sure flights remain on schedule.

While it may seem like just plowing, it’s much more than that.

As Airfield Maintenance Supervisor, James Scripture constantly monitors factors such as ground temperature, air traffic, and breaking conditions.

He mans a mobile command center in his truck.

“Personal pride is all the fine details that we have to remember to try to accomplish. It’s about snow placement. It’s huge. So definitely, you know, after I plowed for quite a few years and, you know, after plowing a ramp and an area looking at it and saying, Yeah, you know, I did a good job. That’s pretty cool. Yeah, I do enjoy it. I guess I would, I guess I wouldn’t be here for 20 years if I didn’t enjoy it,” said Scripture

As they maneuver almost like a synchronized swimming team, operators work in a rhythm together to get everything cleared.

Plow Operator Reggie Coulombe, says with all the moving parts, there’s one big challenge.

“Getting the snow where we want it. It’s not like a driveway where you just plow it up and make a big pile. We have to make wind rows, and then the blowers will come and shoot it into the field because of wingtip. If it snows, whether it’s a half inch or whatever we’re getting today, we’re here for 12 hours, and the night shift will take over, and we’ll be back tomorrow for 12,” said Coulombe.

This airport deals with many challenges, in addition to the low number of crew members.

It’s the landing spot for commercial airlines, the National Guard, LifeFlight, and General Aviation flights.

Scripture added, “It means a lot to me to have the crew that I have, you know, I give him some instruction, they can go and do it, and it gives me a chance to take care of everything I need to take care of in here, get everything organized for the next thing to do. You know, I just give them instruction, give them a heads-up what’s going on, and they know what to do. And then take care of it so I can keep track of all the things outside and around to make sure we stay out of the way of everything. The crew definitely, they definitely mean a lot to me and the hard work they put in.”