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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Airport officials vexed by de-icing troubles

  • Two trucks used by DGS, a company owned by Delta Air Lines that handles de-icing chores, had mechanical problems during the Veterans Day weekend.
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  • The chairman of the Minot City Council's airport committee wants answers about why de-icing equipment wasn't available at the airport during last weekend's winter storm.
    Two trucks used by DGS, a company owned by Delta Air Lines that handles de-icing chores, had mechanical problems during the Veterans Day weekend, when a storm dumped more than 4 inches of snow in the Minot area.
    One of the trucks broke down a few days before the storm, said Andrew Solsvig, the director of the Minot airport.
    A second truck broke down while trying to service planes, which resulted in several flights being canceled and dozens of passengers stranded on Saturday and Sunday. A functioning de-icing truck did not arrive at the airport until Monday morning.
    Traffic at the Minot airport has increased dramatically in recent years because of a boom in oil development in western North Dakota.
    Russell Cason, a Delta spokesman in Atlanta, said the company will put a third de-icing truck at Minot's airport. It will be available to be transferred to any North Dakota airport that Delta serves, he said.
    "We just had the very unusual circumstance where both of the trucks were out of commission at the same time as a major storm moved in," Cason told The Minot Daily News (http://bit.ly/RJBIWF ).
    Jim Hatlelid, the chairman of the Minot City Council committee that oversees the airport, said he'll ask the service company to tell the committee Nov. 26 about steps that are being taken to make sure the problem does not recur.
    "They have to understand what kind of name this gives the Minot airport," Hatlelid said. "We have to see that the passengers are taken care of."

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