The Northwest Regional Airport Terrace-Kitimat has a new state-of-the-art runway sweeper that will help the airport operate efficiently during the snowiest of winter days.
Costing just under $1-million and funded in-part by grants, the new 60-foot-long machine dwarfs the airport’s other sweepers.
Carman Hendry, airport manager, said the new Aebi Schmidt jet sweeper will be able to do the work of two of the airport’s current trucks, which have smaller plows and use tow-behind brushes.
The airport currently has three plow trucks, and Hendry said they plan to keep those in service for another year and then possibly buy another Aebi Schmidt at that time.
“Brand new truck, we’re gonna have to wait and see how it operates,” Hendry said, noting that airport workers have had around a week’s worth of training on the new machine since it arrived from Germany.
“In an emergency and when things are stressful, you want to grab something that you’re familiar with.”
According to Hendry, The new machine has a lifespan of 20 years and can sweep at 50 kilometres per hour. It works by clearing the majority of snow to the side with the plow before the brush clears the remaining snow and slush. Then, the machine’s blower unit removes remaining moisture on the runway.