Detroit Metropolitan Airport prepared for inclement weather

News Releases
Jan 30

DETROIT (Jan. 30, 2019) – Despite the record-breaking low temperatures sweeping the region, Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) remains fully operational due to its year-round preparations for inclement weather. The Wayne County Airport Authority’s (WCAA) comprehensive Snow and Ice Control Plan (SICP) was redesigned for the 2018-2019 snow season, investing in significant resources and manpower.

Prior to the snow season, WCAA added approximately $2.7 million in snow removal equipment to its existing fleet. The new equipment includes three new multi-functional vehicles, specifically designed to clear snow from airport runways. These vehicles are equipped with a snow plow, a broom and a snow blower. Additionally, a new sand dome and salt dome were constructed, increasing the amount of material onsite.

“Our redesigned Snow and Ice Control Plan has proven to be successful this season,” said WCAA CEO Chad Newton. “Our aircraft arrival rate during a snow event has significantly increased from last season. Detroit Metropolitan Airport works all year with our airline partners and the Federal Aviation Administration’s Detroit Air Traffic Control Tower and Approach Control to ensure our snow plan positions the airport to be successful.”

Also in preparation for the 2018-2019 snow season, eight maintenance positions were added allowing for a second team to be allocated to the runways. The implementation of a two-team concept allows the airfield to be divided, making each team responsible for clearing two of the four primary runways. In addition, the leadership tasked with snow event oversight was consolidated into one facility contained within the Emergency Command Center.

DTW has experienced four large snow events this season, which runs from November 15 through April 15. Closing the airport is a last resort, reserved for extreme circumstances. During the Jan. 22 weather event, DTW closed the airfield due to safety concerns. Deicing fluid placed on the airfield was diluted by the constant rate of precipitation, making it ineffective. At no time was there a shortage of personnel, material or equipment.  

As always, customers are encouraged to check with their airline regarding flight status before heading to the airport.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) welcomed nearly 35 million passengers in 2017 and is one of the world’s leading air transportation hubs.   With service from 14 scheduled passenger airlines, Michigan’s largest airport offers more than 1,100 flights per day to and from more than 140 non-stop destinations on four continents. With two award-winning passenger terminals, six jet runways, and an onsite AAA Four-Diamond Westin Hotel, DTW is among the world’s most efficient, customer friendly and operationally capable airports in North America.  DTW is operated by the Wayne County Airport Authority, which also operates nearby Willow Run Airport – an important corporate, cargo and general aviation facility.  The Airport Authority is entirely self-sustaining and does not receive tax dollars to support airport operations.   Visit for more information.

For additional information, members of the media may contact:

Erica Donerson – or Lisa Gass –

Media Line – (734) 247-7379

Erica Donerson
Vice President, Communications and External Affairs
Wayne County Airport Authority
Media Relations Manager
Wayne County Airport Authority