Snow removal corps supports stable operations at Asahikawa Airport

Snow removal work taking place at 6:15 a.m., before sunrise
An orderly, beautiful convoy at 7:05 a.m.

Asahikawa Airport in northern Hokkaido became a snow-covered winter wonderland on December 4, 2020. At just after 6 a.m., before sunrise, snow removal work was being carried out on the runway.

 The work was being done by WAX WINGS, a snow removal corps made up of 39 farmers from neighboring farms. After clearing away the snow that had accumulated, a convoy of 5 vehicles arrived to add the finishing touches.

 The runway has a series of horizontal grooves to help drainage and prevent tires from skidding. The snow that gathers in these grooves is swept away using a rotating brush in the final task to maintain the surface condition.

 The 5 vehicles slowly advance along the runway, with the lead vehicle in the center of the runway and the others following slightly behind in a diagonal formation. The snow, brushed sideways by the first vehicle, is gradually brushed further away by the relay. The highly efficient movement, as if done with the use of programming, eventually reveals the black asphalt of the runway. Karino Masaru (49), in his 13th year of removing snow, boasts “we have the skills and teamwork to cope with any type or amount of snow”.

 At just after 9 a.m., the first flight of the day landed safely at the airport, where the reporter was constantly amazed by the perfectly coordinated work that took place on the runway.


Asahikawa Airport