Nearly 800 meters long, the runway can only be opened when the ice is at least 30 centimeters thick, explained Paul LaRochelle, the airport’s manager – the only ice airport approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). US air transport.
“We don’t drive our trucks here if the ice isn’t 30 cm thick. If there’s 22 cm there, 30 cm there, 25 cm elsewhere, we don’t open. Until it’s the same thickness everywhere,” said LaRochelle, who comes out every day to measure the thickness of the ice.
This weekend, the thickness reached 50 cm and, at the airport, opened a week ago, with staff from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, several planes landed, but not without difficulties.
“The ice is slippery. Many pilots say that,” said Carol Niewola, one of the runway’s operations officials.
“Turning, stopping become difficult maneuvers although they are very easy to do on paved or grassy tracks, but here on ice it is very different. There is a small layer of snow on the ice, which provides a bit of grip, but it is not great, “she added.
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