PHOTOS: Alaska Airlines & Port Of Seattle Demo New De-Icing Equipment At Sea-Tac

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Wednesday morning (Nov. 4th), the Port of Seattle and Alaska Airlines conducted a full-scale snow removal and anti-icing exercise to prepare for the upcoming winter season.

Photographer Michael Brunk risked his life on Sea-Tac Airport’s tarmac to get these photos:

Click to View Michael Brunk’s Photo Slideshow

During the 2008-2009 season, SeaTac Airport experienced just over 23 inches of snow, compared to an average of 12 inches. While airport operations continued during the higher than normal snowfall, some improvements are being made for the 2009-2010 season.

Alaska Airlines has added eight new de-icing trucks to their fleet and three “nurse trucks” that will shuttle fluid from storage tanks to the new de-icing trucks. The new de-icing trucks feature an enclosed operator cockpit that allows them to operate safely around aircraft while the aircraft engines are still running. This feature coupled with new procedures will allow Alaska Airlines to de-ice an aircraft much more quickly and efficiently using central de-icing pads that will use a “car wash” model.

The Port of Seattle — which is responsible for clearing snow and ice from runways, taxiways and the ramp areas — has also taken delivery of several new vehicles that were already on order prior to last year’s unusual snow event. Using several snow plows followed by snow brush trucks one runway can be plowed and cleared in 30-45 minutes.

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