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Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport keeps operations running despite the snow

Ben Meyer/WXPR

Travel in Wisconsin and across the Upper Midwest has been severely impacted by this winter storm.

Long before the first snowflake even falls, the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport has an FAA-approved plan in place to deal with all this snow and ice.

“We have a prioritization of airfield services. So the primary runway is priority one. The air carriers' apron, the apron over at the Rhinelander flying service taxiway, etc. Then we have what you might call trigger points so if we get a quarter inch of snow here we’re out there, we’re moving it. It’s very structured and our capabilities are outstanding and our crew is outstanding,” said Matthew Leitner, airport director.

More than 1,800 flights in the U.S. have been canceled because of the storm.

Delta Flights in and out of Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport were canceled Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

“There’s just a very strong inter-dependence logistically. If things go awry in say Denver that can impact Minneapolis adversely downstream which impacts Rhinelander, etc,” said Leitner.

Just because commercial flights aren’t running as usual, doesn’t mean Rhinelander airport operations stop.

Leitner says cargo and corporate planes are still making trips.

The airport also needs to keep runways and roads cleared of snow for medical transports going into and out of the airport.

“We stay pretty well ahead of this. If the snowfall rate is really excessive, we will close services or we will close the airport because it’s always safety first. That’s paramount. But I anticipate we’ll be able to remain open for the duration of event, but we’ll see what comes down,” he said. .

For people that are traveling commercially, Leitner recommends going directly to the airline you are flying with for the most up-to-date information.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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