Mission Accomplished

Paul Bowers

Planning an upcoming issue of this magazine is like the schedule retailers must follow when they plan merchandise for the holidays. It starts months in advance. We need to decide what to offer our customers (profiles of interesting, informative airport projects) and how much to order (how many stories will appear in the issue). Obtaining permissions from subjects, setting up interviews, writing, proofing, fact-checking, and more proofing takes time.

Planning for March/April’s issue started last fall, and many stories were assigned around Thanksgiving. We were all set with the right number of stories, including some winter operations features for the perfect pairing with bonus distribution of this issue at the NEC/AAAE International Aviation Snow Symposium in April.

And then Mother Nature had something to say. The blizzard of the century shut down Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) for five days, endangering the lives of locals as well as those traveling through the area. Before the storm subsided, more than 50 inches of snow had fallen.

When I discovered the magnitude of what happened, it was an easy audible to call BUF Airfield Superintendent Joe Guarino to see if the airport would be interested in sharing its story with other airports. It was, and he graciously accepted our accelerated schedule to include the story in this issue.

Let me be clear. This is not just another snow removal article. It’s a story about people, governmental departments and private companies working together in ways that you won’t find listed in any of their job descriptions. The pictures and text tell a remarkable, heart-warming tale. This is a real feel-good story about tireless airport workers who were resourceful, compassionate and even heroic under very difficult circumstances.

Congratulations are in order. However, I doubt anyone involved would want to ever go through a blizzard like this ever again.


- Paul

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