HELENA – The Helena Regional Airport says that this winter has been particularly difficult year due to snow and ice. Yet despite the harsh weather the airport has remained operational at all hours.

Since November of last year the Helena Regional Airport has seen over 8,000 flights. During that time they have had only one cancellation due to weather.

Around a dozen airport staff works around the clock with plows, blowers and brooms to keep the runway clear. So far the airport has used over 20,000 gallons of diesel gasoline this year.

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Airport director Jeff Wadekamper says that this winter has been one of the most challenging he has ever seen at the airport.

The freezing rain earlier this month required them to deice the runway multiple times. The airport uses specialized pellets to clear off the ice and it costs them $10,000 every time they deice the runway.

Wadekamper says that he incredibly proud his staff, the work they do and the sacrifices they make.

“They’re all very dedicated, work very hard [and] have put in some long hours,” said Wadekamper, “Every single holiday that we’ve had they’ve been here instead of being home with their families and so they’ve really put in a lot of time. We have a tremendous staff.”