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Preventing Icy Runways  
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 5946 times:

Are runways at airports in colder climates built with different material to prevent ice from forming? I know there are snowplows, but what measures are taken to prevent a lot of ice from forming on the runways? Planes are really heavy, but I'm assuming they could still skid on the ice, would could present problems when taking off or landing.

Thanks!

Soxfan  Smile


Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKcrwFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3817 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5926 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
I know there are snowplows, but what measures are taken to prevent a lot of ice from forming on the runways?

prayer....

I'm pretty sure ice and snow stick to asphalt the same as they would concrete or any other surface.


User currently offlineTb727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1598 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5921 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
Planes are really heavy, but I'm assuming they could still skid on the ice, would could present problems when taking off or landing.

Yeah snow and ice do cause problems and you can slide around a bit. There are operational considerations that are different for each aircraft type such as different landing distance requirements for different types of contamination.

A key is to keep the snow off. If it's a dry snow it's a lot easier, but once it starts to melt and then refreeze you get problems. Grooved runways are always better in wet conditions in my opinion. Some airports even use chemicals to keep the runway surfaces from freezing over, however I have seen this backfire. I operate off of a long military runway on a regular basis that isn't grooved. Whenever they use chemicals to keep the water from freezing we always find ourselves sliding on the ends of the runway where all the rubber deposits are and it isn't a good feeling!



Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5863 times:

I guess people thought that heated runways were too expensive  Sad  Wink


Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5847 times:

Most airports use a liquid ice melt product.


DMI
User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9651 posts, RR: 52
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5829 times:

Potassium based runway deicers are very common in the world. They lower the temperature that ice forms to prevent snow, ice and slush from forming on the runway. These are basically salts that will melt ice. They pose a huge hazard though to aircraft as they can cause corrosion. Just as on your car, runway deicers can corrode aluminum and other metal components on aircraft. I know how bad it is since I have to design parts to be able to handle the conditions of all airports in the world.


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineUnattendedBag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2328 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 5817 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
but what measures are taken to prevent a lot of ice from forming on the runways?

take a look at this website:
http://www.cryotech.com/products/E36/index.php

e36 is used as a pre-treater for runways.

next, read this:
http://tinyurl.com/6dwdd2

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 5):
These are basically salts that will melt ice. They pose a huge hazard though to aircraft as they can cause corrosion.

I don't think so... Anything used on an aircraft or aircraft operating surface must NOT be corrosive to aircraft. While "potassium acetate and formate are salts, they must contain corrosian inhibitor packages to comply with SAE specifications" to be approved for airside applications.



Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5789 times:



Quoting UnattendedBag (Reply 6):
Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 5):
These are basically salts that will melt ice. They pose a huge hazard though to aircraft as they can cause corrosion.

I don't think so... Anything used on an aircraft or aircraft operating surface must NOT be corrosive to aircraft. While "potassium acetate and formate are salts, they must contain corrosian inhibitor packages to comply with SAE specifications" to be approved for airside applications.

Although it makes a lot of sense to add corrosion inhibitors to deicing fluids, they absolutely *are* corrosive to aircraft. Potassium formate, especially, is mostly responsible for having to cadmium plate every connector in the wheel wells.

Tom.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9651 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5703 times:



Quoting UnattendedBag (Reply 6):

I don't think so... Anything used on an aircraft or aircraft operating surface must NOT be corrosive to aircraft. While "potassium acetate and formate are salts, they must contain corrosian inhibitor packages to comply with SAE specifications" to be approved for airside applications.

When you are outside of the United States and certain areas with strict regulations, you do find a lot of very corrosive materials used on runways. Potassium Formate is one of the worst chemicals used as it will destroy unprotected aluminum overtime.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineMissedApproach From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 713 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 5687 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
Are runways at airports in colder climates built with different material to prevent ice from forming?

No, standard building materials.

Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
what measures are taken to prevent a lot of ice from forming on the runways?

Snowplows & snowblowers are the first line of prevention for ice & snow build up.
Next, many airports use a runway sweeper, a rotory brush with steel bristles that removes snow & ice by abrasion- http://www.atifirst.com/sweeper.html
Airports also use a specially equipped truck to give braking indexes for the runways. When braking from a standard speed, a decelerometer generates a report that the controllers then pass to landing aircraft. Planes that have already landed will also report braking action to the controllers, though this is a bit subjective (ie. "poor", "fair", etc).

Salt is not used on the runways due to corrosion problems, & sand isn't used either since it will erode turbine blades, rotors & props. I have seen urea used in the ramp area.
http://www.meltsnow.com/products-airport-specialty-deicers.htm



Can you hear me now?
User currently offlineARFFdude From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 152 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5587 times:

We use potassium acetate at our airport. Same principle as sand, but much less corrosive.

Also with the new AC, a single braking action report of Nil closes the runway. The runway is also closed, if I'm not mistaken, by two consecutive poor reports.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17044 posts, RR: 67
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5542 times:



Quoting MissedApproach (Reply 9):

Quoting Soxfan (Thread starter):
Are runways at airports in colder climates built with different material to prevent ice from forming?

No, standard building materials.

Quite. I imagine the concrete/asphalt mixes are a bit different to inhibit crack formation from repeated heating/cooling and ice formation.

The more days of snow/slush per year, the more well equipped an airport is to handle it. A day of snow in London equals absolute chaos, but since it doesn't happen that often it is not worth getting all the equipment. A day of snow in Helsinki is business as usual.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineMeister808 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 973 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5467 times:

A nice layer of black paint on the runway does wonders to get ice to go away, even when its -40 outside.

-Meister



Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation
User currently offlineMetroliner From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 1067 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5428 times:

I thought the runway at OSL was heated - or is that just the road to OSL??  Smile


Set the controls for the heart of the Sun
User currently offlineBoeing767mech From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1027 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5353 times:



Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 8):
When you are outside of the United States and certain areas with strict regulations, you do find a lot of very corrosive materials used on runways. Potassium Formate is one of the worst chemicals used as it will destroy unprotected aluminum overtime.

If we have an airplane that has taken off from an airport that used anything besides sand on the runway, it is taken out of service to a belly and gear well wash at it's next overnight in wamr weather.

David



Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5344 times:



Quoting MissedApproach (Reply 9):
Snowplows & snowblowers are the first line of prevention for ice & snow build up.
Next, many airports use a runway sweeper, a rotory brush with steel bristles that removes snow & ice by abrasion- http://www.atifirst.com/sweeper.html
Airports also use a specially equipped truck to give braking indexes for the runways. When braking from a standard speed, a decelerometer generates a report that the controllers then pass to landing aircraft. Planes that have already landed will also report braking action to the controllers, though this is a bit subjective (ie. "poor", "fair", etc).

Salt is not used on the runways due to corrosion problems, & sand isn't used either since it will erode turbine blades, rotors & props. I have seen urea used in the ramp area.
http://www.meltsnow.com/products-air...s.htm

Snowblowers work great when it's cold enough for the snow to be dry. Here in STL we're not so lucky. They have to use a lot of liquid deicer.

Grooved runways also help.



DMI
User currently offlineMissedApproach From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 713 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5306 times:



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 15):
They have to use a lot of liquid deicer.

Do you mean glycol, or a brine solution?



Can you hear me now?
User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5299 times:

Thanks for all the responses! There's a lot of great detail and I appreciate it.  Smile

Another thing to consider is the use of snowplows, as they could potential dent up the runway from the sharp blades. Is this likely to have a significant effect over time, or are the runways repaved/is something done every so often to limit the effect of snowplow blades? Or, could the blades have no effect at all?



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17044 posts, RR: 67
Reply 18, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5291 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Reply 17):
Another thing to consider is the use of snowplows, as they could potential dent up the runway from the sharp blades. Is this likely to have a significant effect over time, or are the runways repaved/is something done every so often to limit the effect of snowplow blades? Or, could the blades have no effect at all?


Plows are used all the time in cold climates. Practically a must with heavy snowfall. I have never heard of the denting problem on runways but I guess it is possible.

It's quite a sight to see 5 plows driving in formation down a runway!



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineBrenintw From Taiwan, joined Jul 2006, 1648 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 5278 times:



Quoting Soxfan (Reply 17):
Another thing to consider is the use of snowplows, as they could potential dent up the runway from the sharp blades. Is this likely to have a significant effect over time, or are the runways repaved/is something done every so often to limit the effect of snowplow blades? Or, could the blades have no effect at all?

Plow blades generally have a foot or wheel that keeps the blade at a constant height. They are fitted on the plow frame very close to the blade itself and they ensure that the blade does not bounce on the surface (as you would get when a blade is allowed to run freely on the surface -- it will "dig in" and then cause damage to the surface).



I'm tired of the A vs. B sniping. Neither make planes that shed wings randomly!
User currently offlineA333TS From Canada, joined May 2008, 160 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5237 times:

This might be a stupid comment, but I was under impression that runways had warm or hot water pipes under the concrete to reduce ice formation on the runway. I don’t have any evidence that this is actually happening nor have I read this anywhere; this is just something I thought would make sense. I know that this method is probably very expensive investment but over 50 years in the northern countries around the world it might pay off. May be this wasn’t done because of the thermal shock to the pavement.

In my underground parking garage we use this system for the ramp that leads in and out of the garage, but that stretch is only 25ft and runways are 10000ft.


A333TS


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 21, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5208 times:



Quoting A333TS (Reply 20):
This might be a stupid comment, but I was under impression that runways had warm or hot water pipes under the concrete to reduce ice formation on the runway.

Technically it would work just fine, as your parking garage ramp and lots of private driveways demonstrate. However, I suspect the energy costs are crippling...the thermal mass of an entire runway is huge.

Tom.


User currently offlineA333TS From Canada, joined May 2008, 160 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5138 times:



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 21):

If there is a nuclear power plant near the airport that requires a lot of cooling to cool off the reactors, it might work, and then there will be no concerns for the energy use. But I don’t know any nuclear power plants that are build in close vicinity to the airport.  alert 

There might be some safety regulations about building a nuclear reactor at the airport, but I’m not 100% sure.  Silly

A333TS


User currently offlineSoxfan From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 865 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5131 times:

Would the weight of the plane have any effect on the pavement between the wheels and the hot-water pipes? I doubt there is, but too much pressure and wearing down the pavement could have an effect on the pipes if they're not deep enough. Please correct me if I'm wrong (as I probably am).

Quoting A333TS (Reply 20):
This might be a stupid comment

NO (or almost no) comment is stupid here! That's what I think the forum is for, to any questions and comments answered _related to the topic_, as your comment was.



Pilot: "Request push, which way should we face?" JFK Ground: "You better face the front, sir, or you'll scare the pax!"
User currently offlineRwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2353 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5105 times:
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Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 21):
Technically it would work just fine, as your parking garage ramp and lots of private driveways demonstrate. However, I suspect the energy costs are crippling...the thermal mass of an entire runway is huge.

Coincidentally, the folks down the hall in our office building (totally different company, we have nothing to do with them) claim to have products to do just that. www.hotmesh.com

They seem to claim power consumption on the order of 150W/sq m. For a 12000ftx200ft runway (about 225k sq m), that works out to about 34MW. Which is a lot, but not unreasonable (in the sense that getting that sized feed out of your local power company is not a big deal). You probably don't have to run the whole thing at full power all the time either - melt in sections, and then heat the melted sections at a lower rate to keep them clear.


25 Starlionblue : Interesting. But how much does that cost compared to plows and de-icing agents?
26 ChrisMUC : unfortunately "only" the apron is heated. In fact, OSL is the only airport where I've ever landed on a thick layer of snow. They compact it and add s
27 Rwessel : Well, electricity in bulk runs around $50/MW-hr, so if you ran a 34MW deicing grid for 1000 hours per year, it would cost you about $1.7M. That's alm
28 Starlionblue : That's less money than I thought it would cost. However as you say there may not be a lot of places that get that many days of actual snowfall. Winter
29 Packcheer : It seems as though a system like that could be better used to prevent the ice/snow from accumulating in the first place. I live in NC and quite often
30 Starlionblue : If you get 50cm of snow in a day, there's no way a heated roadway or runway will keep that from staying on the ground. Eventually, it will melt, but
31 Pilotpip : Talking to our ops guys, they use Potassium Acetate. Also told they're seriously rationing it right now because the company that makes it is on strik
32 Rwessel : Fresh snow is typically 5-15% the density of water, so 50cm of snow would be 7.5cm of water at the high end of the range. A sq m of that would be 75k
33 Starlionblue : Thanks for the math Rwessel. The question is now: Is it worth it? In future, place nuclear power plants next to airports. They always need to cool wat
34 Qblue : Snow plows use hard rubber as there blade for airport use. When they wearout they just bolt on new ones. The potash mines are back to work now so more
35 Alessandro : Well, when an airliner lands it´s a big punch to the ground and the pipes would most likely crack after a while so I doubt it would be such a grand
36 A333TS : You are correct I completely forgot about the forces that are being applied by the aircraft on the runway during the landing. Taxiways might actually
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