Air traffic controllers navigate airplanes, snow plows

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MOSINEE, Wis. (WSAW)-- Surprisingly, flights were going in and out of Central Wisconsin Airport on Tuesday. Of course, many flights have been delayed. And a handful of cancellations.

Flights coming in and out of Chicago have been the most troublesome.

But thanks to the folks in the air traffic control tower, things have been going pretty smooth, all things considered. The most difficult part of their job on a day like today is not only navigating the planes, but also their own snow vehicles.

"A day like today you never know what’s going to happen, you can’t see the vehicles on the runways," said veteran air traffic controller Doug Reppond. "You’re depending on them to tell you when they’re on and off. You’ve got to keep re-iterating, exit the runway. The pilot goes on one runway you gotta be sure to tell them there’s vehicles on that runway, make sure you depart on *this runway. You’ve got to constantly watch, constantly talking. Re-iterate things over and over, you’ll repeat yourself constantly."

Passengers arriving will come home to their cars being covered in snow. Airport assistant manager Mark Cihlar said he’s been spending much of the day digging out cars for passengers, to hopefully, ease a part of their hectic travel day.