Heat Pavement Technology Could Melt Away Airport Headaches

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Snow plows could soon become a thing of the past at the Des Moines International Airport.

Last fall, engineers at Iowa State University installed two slabs of concrete to test heated pavement technology. Both are wired with various sensors, including temperature probes, strain gauges, and humidity sensors. When a winter storm approaches, the engineers can use an app to turn on the heated pavement system.

"In terms of electrically conductive concrete, that has not been tried in an airport before, and I believe that our team was the first one, building a test site and proving the effectiveness of this technology," said Dr. Halil Ceylan, an engineering professor at Iowa State.

Rather than runways, engineers hope to install the technology near airport gates. That area is often congested and difficult to plow.