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SLC Airport Snow/Ice Removal Information


Snow Removal Photo

Airport Snow Removal

The Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) removes ice and snow from runways, taxiways, ramps, cargo areas and aircraft deicing zones on the airfield. SLC also maintains the roads and sidewalks accessing the terminals. The airlines and other airport tenants also provide snow and ice removal in select areas.

Snow Removal Team

The airport's snow removal team is comprised of two groups called elements. Each element includes six snow plows, two snow blowers, one sand truck, one liquid deice and one solid deice truck, a vehicle maintenance truck, an airport electrician, a maintenance supervisor and an Airport Operations Manager. One element can clean a 12,000 ft. runway in 20-25 minutes.

SLC's snow removal crew was recognized nationally with the 2017 Balchen/Post Award for excellence in the performance of airport snow and ice control during the winter of 2016-2017. This is the eleventh year the airport has received the award. Click here to see a list of past awards.

Pre-Treatment Procedures

When the forecast calls for snow showers, the airport will pre-treat runways and taxiways with a biodegradable potassium acetate. This fluid helps to delay ice and snow from bonding to the surfaces. Sand and solid runway deicer may also be used in concert with the liquid deicer. Potassium acetate is also used on bridges and overpasses on the public side. All chemicals and materials used to pre-treat runways are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


SLC has three end-of-runway deicing pads that helps to reduce taxi times for airplanes and streamlines the collection of deicing fluid (glycol) at the airport. Airlines are responsible for deicing operations for their aircraft to ensure safety for passengers and crew.

By the Numbers

  • 52.6 million sq. ft. of airfield and roads are cleared during a snow storm
  • 60 pieces of equipment on hand for snow/ice maintenance, including the following: 
    • 16 plow trucks with 20’ plows
    • 16 runway brooms with 20’ brooms
    • 10 snow blowers (6,500 ton capacity)
    • 4 ten wheeled dump trucks for sand and chemical
    • 3 tanker trucks for liquid chemical
    • 11 ramp plows with 30’ box blades
    • 400 plus lighted airfield signs and 3,000 taxiway lights are inspected and cleaned by hand during winter storm

Chemicals Stored

  • Liquid Runway Deicer - 200,000 gallons
  • FAA-approved sand - 2,825 tons
  • Solid Runway Deicer - 500 tons
  • Salt - 1,500 tons