GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. The weather not only hit drivers on Wednesday, but delays at the Grand Junction Regional Airport set back passengers and workers. The Grand Junction Regional Airport and the airlines have to pay in order to brave the winter cold and to keep flights on track. Deicing can be expensive for airlines and the airport has to keep staff on longer hours.
Deputy Director of Administration for the Grand Junction Regional Airport, Amy Jordan, said "There were some flight delays, but all air crafts, all schedule departures and arrivals have gone as close to planned." Jordan said so far no flights have been cancelled because the airport has the staff and resources to keep things going.
All the plows at the Grand Junction Regional Airport have been working endlessly to clean up all the snow so that passengers can make it to their flight. "Of course, it costs money to operate equipment and keep people on longer hours, so it's going to cost a little bit more, but it's not that significant as the safety is what is our priority," said Jordan.
Jordan also said, "We as the airport authority, have been making sure that the runways are cleared and safe for operation and the taxiways are clear so that the aircraft can get in and out of the facility with no problem."
The airlines have to worry about deicing their own planes. American Eagle bought their truck from Premier Engineering & Manufacturing for around $110,000 in 1996 and Sky West got theirs for $160,000 in 2003. Officials said the trucks typically last about 20 years.
Jordan said, "We provide a facility and a catch tank to catch the chemicals, but we do not actually conduct the deicing operations. That's done by the airlines themselves and West Star Aviation, our fixed base operator." The airlines pay between $2.00-$7.00 a gallon to clean up the deicing fluid and regional jets usually need about 25 to 30 gallons. Pilots can decide whether or not to deice, but according to Premier it's cheaper to pay for the fluid than delay or cancel flights.
"Don't be afraid to come out to the airport, flights are coming and going and safety is our number one priority and we'll make sure all flights come and go safely," said Jordan.