HIA crews work around the clock clearing runway, taxiway

LOWER SWATARA TOWNSHIP, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. - Maintenance crews at Harrisburg International worked around the clock as two systems made their way into the area Sunday-Tuesday.

"We've still got aircrafts landing at 100 miles an hour plus and taking off," said Marshall Stevens, HIA Deputy Executive Director. "So, we need to be able to give them the best surface possible."

Plow, broom, and air blasts trucks clear the runway and taxiway, but the work is much different than the way snow is removed from typical roadways.

"We don't have the ability to do salts," said Stevens. "Salts are horribly corrosive to aircrafts."

There's also a team of people behind the scenes, and equipment tracking conditions and the temperature of the runway. Once snow and sleet is cleared from the runway, specialized trucks then check the work.

"A vehicle measures friction and so we can monitor the effectiveness of what we're doing," said Stevens. "If friction numbers are high we have good pavement, and good stopping."

While maintenance crews focus on the runway and taxiway, airlines are responsible for removing snow and ice from planes and applying fluid to prevent any buildup during takeoff. All, play a part in making sure planes can arrive and depart as smoothly and quickly as possible.

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