PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland International Airport added another de-icing machine to its fleet. The machine has a 75-foot span, and joins another machine the airport already owns.
Together, both machines can de-ice a runway in one trip, saving passengers, and planes, time in snow and ice.
“It makes for more efficient operations. Before, we had a 75-foot and a 50-foot machine, and math doesn't add up the same way,” said Port of Portland spokeswoman Kama Simonds. “The sooner they get on, do their job and get off the runway, the sooner it’s turned over to the aircraft.”
PDX obtained the new de-icing machine in the fall of 2017, and the timing could not have been better. January and February are typically the roughest months for the airport, when it comes to weather.
“It’s also important to know that the airport is situated at the mouth of the Columbia Gorge,” said Simonds. “It’s unique in its geography, and we may see snow in the West Hills and see nothing here, or due to the gorge effect, we may have a lot of issues at the airport and really nothing in the West Hills.”
Simonds says it takes an entire team for snow and ice removal, including plows and sweeping machines. PDX is already putting the new machine to work. It helped clear a runway when the area received snow on Christmas Eve.