Farm Ireland

Wednesday 20 March 2019

See the fleet of tractors helping get Dublin airport back open

The New Holland tractors at Dublin Airport. Picture: Dublin Airport
The New Holland tractors at Dublin Airport. Picture: Dublin Airport
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Dublin Airport has about 600 acres of apron, taxi-way and runway to keep clear of snow and ice and over the past few days its fleet of New Holland tractors has been busy trying to keep the runways clear.

In bad weather, the airport has a team of people working constantly to keep the airport operating. Every inch of snow on the airfield equates to about 15,000 tonnes of snow which must be cleared and a fleet of New Holland tractors is part of that.

The airport has up to 100 vehicles that blow, sweep and brush the snow. The vehicles run in a fan formation up and down the runway to push snow to the sides of the runway. This work continues until the runway is completely clear of snow and then the runway is then de-iced.

The runway is cleared first, followed by the taxi-ways, aircraft parking stands and other apron areas. The airport has more than 130 aircraft parking stands at Dublin Airport, each of which is about the size of a football pitch and it also has a specialised fleet of smaller snow clearing vehicles to enable our snow teams to access areas close to parked aircraft.

The airport can't just grit the runways, as the type of grit used on roads would damage an aircraft so it uses potassium acetate and regularly spray the runway and apron areas in advance of, and also during cold weather to try and prevent a build up of ice and snow.

It's this work that has Dublin Airport back open this morning (Saturday).

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