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5 questions to Hanspeter Moll, Airfield Maintenance

This section presents a person who gets things moving at Zurich Airport. Hanspeter Moll is Head of Airfield Maintenance and ensures smooth flight operations in the winter.

Hanspeter Moll

What does your job as Head of Airfield Maintenance involve?
As Head of the Airfield Maintenance department, I'm responsible for the maintenance and construction of all the structural surfaces (civil engineering structures) and technical equipment in the outdoor area of Zurich Airport. Our main tasks include the operational and structural maintenance of runways, taxiways and aircraft stands. We also look after all the airside and landside roads, the utility supply lines such as drinking water, rainwater drainage and sewerage, and all the technical installations.

Winter services are available again as of 30 October 2014. What challenges will your team face over the coming winter?
From the end of October to the beginning of April we are ready to act 24 hours a day. As well as a 24-hour emergency repair organisation, during the winter months we also handle snow clearing and de-icing in operational areas and dispose of the de-icer runoff produced.

Who makes up the winter services team?
Our 310 employees, including 120 from our Airfield Maintenance department and 190 contracted drivers, ensure smooth flight operations on cold days at Zurich Airport. We plan for the removal of snow and ice in terms of concept, personnel and organisation. We work very well as a team and are quite proud that Zurich Airport has never had to be closed due to snow.

What happens during snow clearing at Zurich Airport?
Around 120 appliances are ready for use on normal winter days. There are eleven vehicles in one clearing group, which usually consists of one operations manager, seven winter service vehicles, two single ploughs and one snow blower. Depending on the weather and surface temperatures, we also provide a liquid de-icer. The snow clearers usually start work with the call to mobilise at around 2 a.m., and one of the three large winter service vehicles will be ready an hour later. An assignment lasts between four and eight hours on average. It's important to get the operational areas ready for the start of flight operations.

What's your favourite place at Zurich Airport and why?
The end of runway 16 – where the long-haul planes take off – is definitely one of my favourite spots. You get a magnificent view of the taxiway and Zurich Airport from there.

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