VIDEO: Clearing snow from the runways at Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario

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Published January 9, 2024 at 2:29 pm

Pearson Airport in Mississauga snow clearing plan

Some 270 workers and 120 or so “specialized machines” operating around-the-clock comprise a small snow-clearing army that keeps the runways clear and safe during winter storms such as the one today at Pearson Airport in Mississauga.

Officials at Canada’s biggest and busiest airport say they also have the capacity to de-ice 500 aircraft each day during winter — specifically during storms that bring ice and heavy snow — in efforts to keep tens of thousands of daily travellers safe once they board their flights.

While the wintry weather impacting Pearson, Mississauga and the rest of the GTA today isn’t dropping significant amounts of snow, it was expected to create potentially hazardous conditions for drivers and others.

Pearson officials, who said early on Tuesday via social media that they’d be closely monitoring weather conditions throughout the day, later posted a video showing their snow-clearing “army” busy at work (see below).

They also posted a reminder to X (formerly Twitter) for those using Pearson Airport today to leave extra travel time to get to the airport and to check the status of their flight either online or by phone prior to leaving home.

Pearson officials said at the outset of winter that they’re more than ready to clear the runways of heavy snow when it arrives. More than 100 snow plows, tractors, trucks and other pieces of equipment are lined up to complete the task, they noted at the time.

“With winter weather around the corner, our state-of-the-art snow removal equipment is ready to keep the runways clear so aircraft can land and take off safely during snow events,” Pearson officials said earlier.

By the numbers, the airport lists the following among its specialized snow removal vehicles and equipment:

  • 40 snow plows
  • 18 snow tractors
  • 15 wheel loaders
  • 14 de-icing trucks
  • 12 snow blowers
  • 7 front-mounted sweepers

Meanwhile, airport officials also provided some updated winter travel numbers via social media on Tuesday.

At the busiest times during the recent holiday season, Pearson officials say they were seeing upwards of 150,000 travellers going through the airport each day.

“As Canada’s most connected hub for air travel, we successfully connected over 2.1 million passengers on more than 13,000 commercial flights during the busy winter holiday period,” airport officials said in a post to X earlier today. “Through proactive measures such as increased staffing, expanded deicing capacity, newly commissioned advanced snowplows and the implementation of cutting-edge predictive technologies, we are thrilled to say the winter holiday travel period was a success with no major disruptions to travel.”

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