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'It’s a key element of safety': Regina airport has new technology to de-ice the runways
REGINA -- The Regina International Airport has a new state of the art truck used to de-ice the runways.
The technology is known as Epoke and the system cost $400,000. It makes the process of de-icing more effective and efficient than the former system the airport used.
"The equipment we've used in the past would be a piece of equipment that would have one application either liquid or granular, and that really enhances our ability to de-ice the run way in a timely fashion for the air craft," said Eldon Blenkin, the Supervisor of Field Maintenance and Mobile Equipment at the Regina International Airport.
When apply the de-icing product, the technology takes into account the speed the truck is moving, wind speed, direction, temperature and conditions of the runway. To run the truck isn't cheap, the airport said every time it’s used the cost is about $2,500 of de-icing product. That's 30 per cent less than its former system.
"We've noticed in the last number of years, we've seen a different climate,” said Earl Spencer the Vice-President of Operations and Safety at the Regina International Airport. “The climate often hovers around zero, it will go lower, it will go above and when that happens that's when we get these tough conditions for the runways, the frosting."
The airport creates a report of the runway conditions and that report is communicated to pilots. Pilots are able to be more prepared for landing when knowing what state the runway is in.
“It’s huge,” Spencer said. “It’s a key element of safety to get the runway conditions and the breaking at optimum performance.”
The airport said this technology will also mean fewer delays for passengers.
“When we can keep runway conditions in good order, we don’t have to have our techs or operators out on the field as much so there is less interruption to normal operations,” Spencer said.
Audrey Kahovec has been a pilot for 26 years. She said having a stable surface to land and take-off, is essential for flying.
"You lose loss of the control of the aircraft,” Kahovec said. “The runway incursions that you could have are going off the runway, drifting off the end of the runway which are not really favourable when you're the pilot."