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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Casper/Natrona County International Airport (C/NCIA) officials announced the purchase of a new Airport rotary snow broom. “About six weeks ago we experienced a major hydraulic failure on our broom,” said Glenn Januska, Airport Manager. “We were looking at about $30,000 to fix the old unit, about $500,000 and 9 months of manufacturing time to purchase a new one, or the option of purchasing something used. We found a great re-manufactured unit in Wisconsin ready to go. Even repaired the old unit was not adequate to meet our needs, and a 9 month manufacturing time meant the whole snow season lost, so our decision was pretty easy.”

Snow removal for runways and taxiways is quite different than roadways. C/NCIA’s primary runway is 150’ wide and just short of 2 miles long (10,165 feet in length). Salt cannot be used since it is corrosive to aircraft and sand gets ingested in aircraft engines. Snow cannot be piled along the edge of the airfield pavement due to wing-tip clearance requirements, and cannot be pushed off the end or sides of since all of the runway/taxiway lights and signs are on frangible bases and would break free. Snow removal on runways is accomplished by a combination of plow trucks, large rotary snow blowers, rotary brooms, and for de-/anti-icing, an application of chemicals. “Our plow trucks can only remove the snow down to about a ¼ inch, but the broom can remove all of the snow down to the bare pavement. That small amount of contamination left by the plows can reduce the runway breaking action from good to poor, or practically speaking, from aircraft landing to us being shut down,” said Januska. “We are greatly appreciative of the County Road and Bridges Department who loaned us their broom until our new broom was delivered.”

The new broom is 18’ in width, 6’ wider than the old broom, and can operate at 30 mph, 10 miles per hour faster. This increased efficiency means the primary runway can be completely cleared by the broom 45 minutes quicker than using the old one.

Airport Purchases New Snow Broom