The science behind de-icing planes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The science behind de-icing planes

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PASCO, WA - Not only are there winter weather preparations for those of us here in town, but also for those coming and going by way of airplane.

Reporter Mackenzie Maynard visited the Tri-Cities airport learn about some of its most important preparations.

"We've gotten more snow this year than the previous five years I've been here," said Buck Taft, Deputy Director at the Tri-Cities airport. "It's just been long hours of us working to keep everything open."

Taft says preparation started back in the fall, but when it comes to storms hitting our area, there's priority to what they handle first.

"Our number one priority will be dependent on the wind direction," Taft said, "and our main focus is airfield first, then we slowly move toward the land side; the parking lot and sidewalks."

Speaking of runways and making sure they're clear, each airline is also in charge of making sure the planes are also clear for takeoff. 

Before planes take off, they need to get de-iced; and there are different parts to the process.

While on the phone with Delta today, Mackenzie learned that there are two solutions used - Type One and Type Four. Type One is a water-based solution that goes on hot. It's the de-icer that removes any ice or snow on the plane. Type Four is an oil-based solution that is used as an anti-icer to protect from additional snow, sleet, slush, and ice.

Any time there's freezing precipitation or any accumulation on the plane, the de-icing and anti-icing solutions are required.