Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) is purchasing a specialised snow vehicle that will ensure safe airline flight arrivals in poor winter weather conditions. The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved the acquision of a 2017 Prinoth Husky, is a snow grooming vehicle commonly used for smoothing ski slopes. Also known as a snowcat, it drives on top of snow and can move, flatten, till, and compact snow. BWI Marshall Airport will use the snowcat to clear heavy snow near important airfield navigational equipment that provides guidance to aircraft approaching a runway for landing.
The airport is making the purchase due to its need to clear snow from around its navigational equipment during past major winter storms. In February 2010 and January 2016, crews from Liberty Mountain Resort and Conference Center in Carroll Valley, PA, brought a snowcat vehicle to BWI Marshall to remove and smooth snow around sensitive glideslope antennas that are part of the airport’s navigation system. Nearly ten acres of snow were cleared by the snowcat during each storm to provide for safe, accurate aircraft navigation.
“The innovative use of the snowcat vehicle helped us bring critical navigation technology back online in a more-timely manner after major snowfalls,” said Ricky Smith, Executive Director of BWI Marshall Airport. “We thank Governor Hogan, Treasurer Kopp, and Comptroller Franchot for supporting this procurement.”