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Runway Clearing - Articles and news items

Runway rubber removal is not about rubber removal

Airport news  •  15 July 2015  •  Waterblasting Technologies

Every time an airplane lands, it deposits about a pound to a pound and a half of rubber on the runway. When the rubber accumulates it doesn’t just make black marks on the surface, it begins to reduce the friction needed for safe aircraft landings...

Coping in Copenhagen

Issue 3 2012  •  6 June 2012  •  Dan Meincke, Director of Traffic and Airside Operations, Copenhagen Airport

The date was 23 December 2010. Copenhagen Airport (CPH) had prepared for the peak travel day of the Christmas season with 70,000 excited passengers ready to pass through its terminals. We were all ready and had successfully managed to handle traffic, despite several weeks of snow. What we did not know was that on that peak day in December, we were about to get 53cm of snow instead of the expected 10cm. I have never experienced anything like it during the 20 years I have been in charge of Copenhagen Airport's winter operations. We had snow bombs, as cold air was making the sea around us steam with snow clouds. But the combination of our experience, our extensive preparations and our many highly dedicated employees enabled us to get everybody home for Christmas. It was an incredible day, after a couple of weeks of severe winter weather that had almost closed down all air traffic in northern Europe and the UK. It was expensive for everybody, especially the airlines. Very expensive. What saved Christmas in 2010 for our passengers and airlines was our recent change of snow clearing methods, a change that enabled us to clear our 3.6km-long, and 45m-wide runways in less than 15 minutes. Although delays occurred, we were able to handle all traffic during the 35 days of snowfall that paralysed air traffic in several other countries that year.

Learning from the past

Issue 1 2012  •  7 February 2012  •  Jan Michalak, Head of Warsaw Chopin Airport Maintenance Service

Warsaw Chopin Airport has spent a large amount of investment on winter main - tenance during the 2010/11 season. Never before in the airport’s history had the struggle with snow and ice required so much effort and resources. So what can we expect in 2012? According to data from the Polish Institute of Meteorology and Water Management, the previous winter was exceptionally cold. The average temperature during the three winter months was -3°C, which was more than two degrees colder than usual. As we all know the 2011/2012 was particularly harsh, causing travel chaos across Europe. In Warsaw, the number of snowfall periods (12 hour work shifts during which snow removal was required) totalled 85 and was similar to that of the two previous seasons. The number of melt-freeze periods was also above average at approximately 96. However, due to heavy snowfall, as well as rapid weather changes, Chopin Airport’s snow-removal service had their hands full.

Ready for the big freeze

Issue 1 2012  •  7 February 2012  •  Jan Kadlec, Airfield Operations Manager, Prague Airport

Prague Airport is the biggest airport in the Czech Republic and one of the major hubs in Central and Eastern Europe. Prague’s excellent location in the heart of Europe together with its recognition as an attractive business and holiday destination represents a unique opportunity for air service development. Like London and Frankfurt, Prague Airport suffered in the 2010/2011 winter season. However, the airport was only closed from 1-2 December 2010 for six hours. Over 100cm of snow had fallen between 26 November and 31 December. During those 36 days, 34 of them were spent maintaining runways and airport premises from the bad weather conditions. The biggest snow falls during last season were on the 28 November (12cm), 1 December (20cm) and 15 December (10cm). In all we had to use approximately 570,000 litres of de-icing fluid. The main problem was the snow on the apron, a place where the airplanes are parked and handled.


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