Casper-Natrona County Airport Crews Plow; Flights Probably Resume Wednesday
The blizzard that shut down central Wyoming has partially shut down the Casper-Natrona County International Airport, its manager Glenn Januska said Tuesday morning.
Plowing crews are working continuously to open the runway for flights later today, Januska said.
No passenger planes departed this morning, and two schedule United Airlines arrivals -- 4667 and 4797 respectively -- from Denver at 12:44 p.m. and 2:41 p.m. have been canceled, according to the C-NCIA's website.
United flight 5294 from Denver is still scheduled to arrive at 5:48 p.m., according to the website.
Januska said passenger flights scheduled to depart Wednesday morning such as United 5294, are "remain overnight" planes.
Besides passenger airlines, the airport also is the arrival and departure point for cargo and medical flights, businesses, and personal aircraft.
They need the runway, too,
Crews can stay at the airport's overnight facilities so they can work nonstop to plow the main runway, Januska said. They had not started on the auxiliary cross-wind runway as of Tuesday morning.
The plowing can be tricky because the snow cannot cover the runway lights, he said.
Parking areas for private and business planes need clearing, too, Januska added.
Besides the runway and plane parking spots, crews are plowing the roads on the airport property so businesses can access their building.
For now, plowing persists nonstop.
Clearing the 150-foot-wide, 10,000-foot-long main runway seems like a Sisyphean job because of the ceaseless drifting snow.
But the crews can't stop because delayed plowing could result in snow so deep that the 24-foot blades on the trucks couldn't move it, Januska said.
"They can't wait and come back in a few hours," he said. "We have to keep an eye on it because you can't afford not to."