Pittsburgh International preps for inclement winter weather

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PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh International Airport officials said they're prepared for the winter season and what could be the first winter storm on Friday.

On Thursday, crews participated in a snow removal drill.

"Pretty much you have to know where you're at here. If you don't know, you're in trouble," said snow plow driver Wayne Locke. "One of the first times I was out here was a white out. All you had are lights."

Locke said he has experienced several winters at the airport and his plow is among a 22-vehicle caravan that cleans the runways during snow storms. There is also a team of blowers, brooms and trucks equipped with deicer and sand.

Pittsburgh International has been recognized for outstanding achievement in airport snow and ice control.

This year, the airport added new high-tech equipment for deicing. The airport authority's executive director said it's a GPS-based unit on trucks.

"The the old fashioned way, we would open valves and spray the runway. With the vehicle communication line, we put product down exactly where it's needed so we use product more efficiently," said Brad Penrod.