| 12.1°C Dublin

Airport to double up on de-icer for winter

DUBLIN Airport is set to more than double its capacity for de-icer ahead of the next big freeze -- predicted this winter.

Fingal County Council agreed this week for Dublin Airport Authority to increase its storage of potassium acetate -- the fluid used to clear runways of snow and ice -- by the end of October.

The council decision comes as forecasters warned that Ireland should brace itself for a third harsh winter in a row.

"It looks like we're going to have severe weather conditions and that it will be an ongoing thing, so obviously it is prudent for us to plan ahead -- all the other agencies are doing something similar in preparation for the winter," DAA spokeswoman, Siobhan Moore said.

"It looks like it's going to be something that we are going to have to get accustomed to, we did use unprecedented levels of potassium acetate last year, and the year before.

"While we did not run out of de-icing fluid, our stock did run low, and we just wanted to make sure we would have enough."

New storage tanks will allow for 509,000 litres to be kept at Dublin Airport within the next two months.

Earlier this week, the National Road Authority (NRA) announced that it had placed a massive order for 110,000 tonnes of rock salt, in preparation for a potential big freeze.

An NRA spokesman said the organisation had ordered 70,000 for national roads from North Africa, as well as 40,000 extra tonnes for the regional and local road network.

Exacta Weather warned this week that both Ireland and Britain should make preparations for tough winter conditions similar to -- and possibly worse than -- last year.