Helena Regional Airport prepared for frigid weather and holiday travel

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Posted at 5:00 PM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-22 19:00:44-05

HELENA — Christmas weekend is one of the busiest times of the year for airports around the country and from inclement weather to a rush of holiday travelers, the Helena regional airport is prepared.

The Helena Regional Airport has been keeping up with mother nature this week.

Airport Director Jeff Wadekamper says they are accustomed to, and prepared to, fly and operate in these Montana winter conditions.

"We're always prepared for winter weather. I mean, even extremes like this," said Wadekamper.

The airport has plenty of equipment and vehicles to clear the runways and to de-ice planes when freezing temperatures and snowy weather strike.

"Most airports, they'll park those trucks outside and plug them in. We're we've got big garage bays where we keep them inside. So that's one major step that we've taken. So at least the deicing truck will actually start in the morning," said Wadekamper.

Nationwide, AAA is expecting around 113 million travelers this holiday. That is a 14 percent increase from last year. Travelers told MTN Thursday they are thinking ahead, preparing for the crowds and possible disruptions.

"I wanted to make sure at least to anticipate delays or flight cancellations, especially with that big winter storm and the cold snap. So you always got to plan ahead for the holidays," said holiday traveler Natalie Lisko.

To keep the airport running at its busiest time of year, the Helena Airport is thankful to have its hard working staff.

"Huge appreciation to everybody that's working on the airport facility that are, you know, out there in the cold weather. It's, you know, loading and unloading aircraft and passengers fixing things and making sure equipment is running," said Wadekamper.