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Jamestown Regional Airport Receives Its New Snow Removal Equipment

Posted on 5/4/2012

By: Kari Lucin

"The Jamestown Sun"

The Jamestown Regional Airport's $350,000 broom truck arrived Tuesday, replacing a 52-year-old piece of equipment used to remove snow and debris from runways.

"This is going to help us considerably," said Matt Leitner, airport manager, of the new MB1, which was purchased with funds from the Federal Aviation Administration and the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

Broom trucks are used to remove quarter-inch to half-inch snow accumulations on runways as well as debris. When more snow falls, blades on other machinery are used, but they don't get all the way down to the surface, so a broom truck is used to clean off the remaining snow, Leitner said.

At Jamestown Regional Airport, the broom truck gets used about 100 days of the year.

The old broom truck was rebuilt in 1984, but it broke down frequently and replacement parts were getting hard to find, Leitner said. Most likely, the JRA's old broom truck will go to a smaller airport.

"(Getting a replacement broom truck) is not a usual thing. This took years of requests," said Jim Boyd, chairman of the Jamestown Regional Airport Authority. "This is something we desperately needed."

Boyd credited Leitner for being proactive about the airport's equipment needs.

Like the old broom truck, the new piece of equipment is 20 feet wide, and can clear a runway with four passes. Its wire and fiberglass brush is articulating and can be angled. A blade can be attached so it can plow snow as well, Leitner said, increasing the airport's equipment redundancies for more reliable snow removal.

The new broom truck will likely last decades, Leitner said.

"Usually they're very robust, and we're going to operate it and maintain it properly," Leitner said.

The new equipment arrived as the JRA prepares to add an afternoon flight to Minneapolis to its schedule beginning June 1, Sundays through Fridays.

Planes will depart at roughly 4 p.m., which should prove more convenient for people catching international flights, Boyd said.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453

or by email at