Known informally as the Postal Creed, it goes, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

The same can be said of air cargo and unless the dangers caused by weather pose a hazard to people or aircraft, air cargo keeps moving. 

Winter Operations

So has been the case this week in the northeast and midwest as MIC facilities in Chicago and AGI facilities in JFK, Newark and Chicago have all had to manage two strong storms. At JFK, where more than a foot of snow fell, operations were suspended on Saturday but resumed Sunday. In Newark, the team handled one of the few flights into the airport Saturday – a Northern Air Cargo 737 from Salt Lake City carrying, unironically, mail.

On Wednesday, 5.5″ of snow fell at O’Hare International Airport.

Preparing to operate during winter weather is a collaborative effort involving people, equipment, our airline customers, and airports, all of which revolve around safety.

AGI and MIC work year-round performing regular maintenance and keeping our equipment in top operating condition. Whether tugs, scissor lifts, forklifts or any equipment that is subjected to the elements year-round, we ensure that under the most challenging of conditions, our equipment will perform.

We are extremely grateful for our employees who are on duty during these difficult weather days. For those who rely on public transportation which slows or comes to a stop during these storms, they find a way to safely get to work and are there keeping cargo flowing. It wouldn’t be possible without them – and we thank them all for the extra effort.

Having our people and equipment ready wouldn’t matter if the planes cannot reach our facilities, so working with our airport partners to keep runways clear so aircraft do not need to make a costly diversion or cancel altogether. Once those planes land, they need to be able to taxi and park at the areas cleared for us to bring equipment alongside to load and unload.

Doing all this safely means informing our airline partners that operations will be slowed down and aircraft turns may take a little longer, but it keeps our people and their equipment as protected as possible.

In Chicago, our on-airport locations at Northeast Cargo utilize our own private fleet of plows to keep the areas clear and operable.

Every person who’s ever worked a sustained career on the ramp has a bad weather story. Rafal Rapacz, MIC COO, has his. Stick around until the end of the Q&A to hear.