Work continues on de-icing troubles

The Minot City Council’s Airport Committee plans to request a meeting with a representative of the airport’s ground-handling service to discuss de-icing operations.

At a meeting Tuesday, commissioners voiced frustration with continued de-icing problems this month after previous problems delayed flights on two occasions in November.

Airport director Andrew Solsvig said he continues to investigate what happened on Feb. 16 that led to all four of DGS’s de-icing trucks being down for repair, causing flight delays for passengers. Cold weather and operational error may have played a part in the breakdowns, he said. He added that he has requested information from DGS on staffing levels and training in light of reported high turnover.

Airport officials also continue to encourage people flying out of Minot to arrive at least 1-1/2 to 2 hours before their flight times to ensure they find parking and clear security in time to catch their planes. The importance of allowing enough leeway is critical during the heavier traffic times, particularly from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Solsvig said.

Some passengers have been unable to get through the screening on time, missing their planes and losing the cost of their nonrefundable tickets. Solsvig said people should plan for a half hour in the screening line, or longer during peak travel periods.

Solsvig said the new terminal being planned will have room for more security screening stations. The intent is to allow for two lines rather than the current one to speed upprocessing time.