MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Every major airline at MSP Airport will let passengers change flights for free during Friday’s storm.

Still, MSP expects a lot of traffic because of the holiday weekend, and they’re doing everything they can to prepare.

Peter Desens from Eyota flew out Thursday evening.

“We are headed to Florida!” Desens said.

The family of five is Disney-bound — and just in time.

The airside operations crew who work atop Terminal One are coordinating a plan of attack. Jeff Mattson is duty manager for MSP Airside Operations. His team is coordinating with airlines, ground maintenance crews and the FAA for a significant snowfall.

(credit: CBS)

“The visibility will probably be a bigger issue tomorrow. The snowfalls rates also, once you get to an inch, talking possibly inch-and-a-half an hour tomorrow afternoon, that’s another consideration that’s a challenge,” Mattson said.

Delays will likely be inevitable when the snow starts. Instead of three, the team will work off two runways for plow efficiency. They will keep a close eye on surface temps and friction rates on the runways, and de-icing stations will be in full effect.

“If needed, we will close if we have to or the surface because our department does open or close the airport, and if it’s a situation that’s not safe, we are not gonna go down that road,” Mattson said.

The crew here won the Balchen Award in 2019, the industry’s highest award for excellence in snow removal.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield