DENVER (CBS4) – Crews at Denver International Airport have been working to keep flights running as close to schedule as possible. The frigid temperatures mean departing jets have to be de-iced.

Most delays on Tuesday had only been about 15 to 30 minutes. The planes have to stop at the de-icing pad and treated right before takeoff. Other crews kept the runways and the roadways clear.

Even in the coldest and harshest weather conditions crews at DIA are well versed in snow and ice removal. Wednesday’s storm only brought about one to two inches of snow to the runways. Still, it was enough to cancel more than 60 flights.

Despite the small amount of accumulation, the single-digit temperatures mean ice can build up quickly on planes. Deicing those planes before takeoff and clearing runways quickly mean shorter delays for passengers.

“It’s really important to keep the aircraft clear of ice build up and that’s exactly what the de-icing operations are designed to do. They spray this material onto every inch of that aircraft,” DIA spokesperson Heath Montgomery said. “What it’s going to do is prevent ice from building up on those wings, and that (ice) adds weight to an aircraft, and that becomes a dangerous flying condition.

“We’ll get the snowplows out in front, we’ll get de-icing equipment out there, brushes, brooms, big blowers; and all of at travels in a line up and down the runways and that will actually clear all the snow and ice off and make the surface safe for the aircraft.”

Officials want to remind any passengers heading out on Thursday to be prepared before getting out on the roadway and make sure they have plenty of windshield wiper fluid. Many were pulling over on Tuesday to clear their windshields when they didn’t have enough fluid.


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