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Yakima airport gets new gear to battle ice on the runways

Yakima airport gets new gear to battle ice on the runways.

YAKIMA, Wash.- It's never good news at an airport.

Flight delays or cancellations leaving people stuck in Seattle on their way back to Yakima.

“We ended up staying for around 10 hours. We ended up staying overnight. All the people that we stayed with slept on the ground,” KC Craven, who flew in from Seattle, said.

The airport had one cancellation this week with even more connecting flights delayed at SeaTac.

But now the Yakima airport has something to fight back against all the snow and ice.

This is a 1,000-gallon anti-ice unit the airport recently purchased with the taxes you pay for a flight out of the valley.

The $50,000 machine has already been used twice this winter. Once being this week.

The terminal has never had something like this and airport director Rob Peterson said it will help them keep up with the changing weather.

“Typically, we see a lot of snow during winter operations or the winter season. Recently we witnessed a lot of icing events,” Peterson said.

This machine sprays an eco-friendly solvent onto the runway. Keeping water from freezing.

The airport only had sand approved by the FAA to use before but the new gear will help keep the runway open and flights on time.

“Obviously, this new item increases safety for aircraft that are operating at the airport. As well as ensuring that we remain open for the public. It increases our chances of not shutting down,” Peterson said.

With even more snow possibly in our future, crews will be working non-stop to keep planes moving in and out of Yakima.

But the people on board might be a little skeptical if their flight will make it out on time.

“Until the second that plane was moving, every single one of us was sitting there looking at each other saying, OK until this plane is moving don't get your hopes up,” Cravens said.

While the new anti-ice machine was needed earlier this week, Peterson doesn't expect to use it with the projected snowfall this weekend.

He said the plan is to plow all the snow off the runway so it doesn't have a chance to freeze over.

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