Denver Airport’s Snow Crew Ensures Safe Travel

Denver International Airport (DIA) stands as one of the globe’s busiest air hubs, having welcomed a staggering 77.8 million passengers throughout 2023, marking a notable surge of over 12% from the previous year.

Nestled amidst the majestic Rocky Mountains, DIA boasts an elevation exceeding 5,400 feet above sea level and experiences an annual snowfall averaging 47 inches, making Denver one of the snowiest cities in the United States.

With such high traffic and consistent snowfall, spanning from late September to April, ensuring the clearance of pedestrian areas during winter becomes paramount for passengers, airlines, and airport personnel alike.

Scott Yeager, District Manager at Aramark Facilities Management, emphasized this priority, stating, “We’ve maintained a dedicated snow removal team operating 24/7 this season to ensure the safety and accessibility of pedestrian walkways and parking lots.”

Addressing the monumental task of managing snow removal, Jacob Gerace, Snow Removal Director of Operations – Denver District at Aramark Facilities Management, detailed the extensive efforts undertaken. Anchored at DIA, a team of 35 full-time staff, bolstered by additional personnel contingent on storm severity, spearheads snow removal operations across 16 parking lots, encompassing all pedestrian pathways and bus stops within each vicinity.

Spanning approximately 53 square miles, equivalent to 34,000 acres, DIA’s operational scope requires meticulous coordination and robust equipment deployment. “This season, our team, supported by the airport’s Operations Department, has swelled to as many as 80 members,” Gerace remarked. “During heavy storms, we implement 12-hour shift rotations, utilizing a diverse array of equipment tailored to specific removal tasks.”

Illustrating the arsenal employed in snow clearance, a variety of equipment is utilized, including 36 hand snow blowers and brushes, 15 ice melt spreaders, 6 John Deere 1025R Tractors and Gators, assorted skid-loaders and loaders, and over 30 heavy-duty trucks and SUVs.

While snow removal may not constitute Aramark Facilities Management’s primary service, Yeager highlighted the seamless integration of expertise and resources. “We cater to numerous clients in the vicinity, including operations at Coors Field gearing up for baseball season,” he noted. “Leveraging our proficiency and personnel, we readily stepped in to serve the influx of travelers traversing the airport this winter.”

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