Winter Operations


Illustration: Dresden Airport winter operations in action

Snow clearing in front of the air traffic control tower

The Dresden International Airport Winter Operations team is operational from 1 November to 31 March 24 hours a day in two shifts, and works closely with the Deutsche Flugsicherung air traffic controllers and the German Meteorological Service. 

  • Total number of qualified personnel: 140
  • Working per shift: 1 officer-in-charge, 1 duty traffic manager, 2 group leaders, 14 drivers
  • Area to be cleared: 543,100 m² (the size of 76 football pitches)
  • of which: aircraft stands (245,000 m²), runway (171,000 m²), taxiways (90,600 m²) and peripheral road (36,500 m²)

Winter Operations

Jörg Zöllner


+49 (0)351 881-2420

Plough, sweep, blow

Clearing equipment:
  • Snow is cleared according to the principle: 'plough, sweep, blow'
  • Mechanical clearing methods are preferred for environmental reasons
  • If surfaces still ice up, they are also gritted with flame-dried quartz sand
  • In extreme conditions the runway can also be de-iced using Clearway 1 (approx. 50% potassium acetate with a vinegary smell)
   Black ice early warning system:
  • Sensors measure crucial runway data: temperatures in and above the concrete, wind speed, precipitation, humidity
  • An alarm is triggered if there is a risk of icing
  • The early warning system keeps the use of chemicals to a minimum
   Aircraft de-icing before take-off:
  • Clears the aircraft of ice (de-icing) and prevents new ice from forming (anti-icing)
  • Special vehicles spray aircraft wings and fuselage with a fully bio-degradable mixture of glycol and water at a temperature of 60 - 80°C
  • The decision as to whether or not an aircraft needs to be de-iced is taken by its captain
Illustration: De-icing an aircraft

De-icing an aircraft

Illustration: Dresden Airport winter operations in action

Dresden Airport winter operations in action