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Winter is Near, It’s Time for DEN to Keep the Runways Clear

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DENVER – Oct. 23, 2020 – The snow and cold has arrived and Denver International Airport (DEN) is prepared for the winter season ahead. With more than 300 pieces of snow removal equipment and approximately 500 snow fighters, DEN is ready to tackle the snow on both on the airfield and on the roadways.

The airport is responsible for maintaining a safe operating area for aircraft by clearing runways, taxiways and other surfaces, and for travelers by clearing roadways and parking lots. To put this into perspective, DEN is the largest airport in North America spanning 34,000 acres (53 square miles), which includes approximately 300 lane miles of roads, 30 acres of parking lots with more than 44,255 public parking spaces and six runways: five are 12,000 feet in length and 150 feet wide with one 16,000 feet in length and 200 feet wide.

DEN’s snow team works year-round to plan, train and prepare for winter weather. As a storm approaches, the airport’s operations team monitors snow forecasts and determines the anticipated level of operational and staffing levels for each storm. The snow crews are deployed at the start of the snowfall and remain in place until the storm has cleared.

DEN’s award-winning snow program by the numbers:

  • There are 325 pieces of snow removal equipment at DEN
  • Our multi-function machinery (plows, sweeps and blows snow, and spreads liquid products at the same) has reduced average time to clear a runway from 45 minutes to under 15 minutes, one of the fastest times in the nation
  • DEN uses two types of snow-melters on the ramp areas – one can melt 600 tons of snow per hour, and one melts 150 tons an hour
  • There are approximately 300 miles of road at DEN – more than the distance from the Denver to Utah border
  • There are 30 acres of parking lots with more than 44,255 parking spots for DEN snow crews to clear – more than 23 football fields

In addition to keeping our runways clear and open for air travel, DEN crews clear and maintain Peña Blvd. from I-70 to the airport. Even though DEN crews will work around the clock to plow and treat Peña Blvd., it is important for motorists to be prepared for the winter weather as well and give our plows room to do their job.

Additionally, motorists should note that Peña Blvd. is under construction between Jackson Gap and the Terminal and lane width has been reduced and realigned through the construction zone. Drivers headed to the terminal on inbound Peña Blvd. should plan ahead and stay in the necessary east-side or west-side lanes before entering the construction zone at Jackson Gap.

During any snowstorm, travelers should check their flight status with their airline in advance of getting to the airport and give themselves extra time to get to DEN. For more travel tips and airport information, visit www.FlyDenver.com.


Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. For more information visit www.FlyDenver.com, check us out on YouTube and Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for DEN’s monthly newsletter Nonstop News.


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Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. Follow us on socials!