Posts: 311
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 5:51 am

Snow Removal?

Sun Jan 20, 2002 4:40 am

Hey All

Can anyone clue me in on how airports prone to snowfall take care of the snow. Are there heating coils under the concrete? Any info is good!!


Posts: 7510
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 2:55 am

RE: Snow Removal?

Sun Jan 20, 2002 4:48 am

Dont knowbout the heating coils, but i do know that most airports have these big bulldozer type vehicles which scoop up snow and move them away from runways etc.

In Arsene we trust!!
Posts: 2187
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2001 9:24 am

RE: Snow Removal?

Sun Jan 20, 2002 5:26 am

I think at ORD when we had all that snow last year they picked up the snow and melted it and the water washed down the drain. Sometimes they might push it to the side. I don't know what else they use at other airports.
"He was right, it is a screaming metal deathtrap!"-Cosmo (from the Fairly Oddparents)
Posts: 534
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 4:05 am

RE: Snow Removal?

Sun Jan 20, 2002 6:24 am

This is simple:

2.Rotary steel sweepers

(These 3 are on the same veihicle in most instances)

4.Snow throwers that remove the final "string/bank" of snow from the runway, and throws it aprox 2-300ft to the side.

5.Anti Ice treatment, called Urea/Freeway/Clearway
This works in the same way as salt on the highway, but is often nitrogene based. (You can't use salt due to corrotion on aircraft) (Not used if it's colder then 5 below freezing, it has no effect in low tempratures)

Sometimes you just use the sweper/blower, and lay Urea afterwards, but when you have heavy sowfall the whole system is used.

When you clear the runway on major airports something like 8 plough/sweep/blowers, 2 throwers, 2 Urea spreaders, and 2 friction test veihicles are at it at the same time. (Ex is from Stockholm/Arlanda airport)

And one final thing, how HUGE would the "heating" bill be if they had to heat the whole runway?  Big thumbs up

Regards Anders
ATCO Trainee
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2001 2:34 pm

RE: Snow Removal?

Sun Jan 20, 2002 3:37 pm

My home airport is MSP, supposedly one of the best in the world for snow removal. It's real interesting to be out at the airport during a snow because it is a carefully planned process. The secret is to keep one runway open while the other parallel is being plowed and then switch runways. The plows just line up (somewhat diagonally) along the runway so a team of maybe 5 plows can plow a runway in one go. Of course MSP now has lots of snow melters around for all the snow that can pile up.

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