b'66 MLTWINTER OPERATIONS the compounding snow, Campbell had to inform pilots that therepresentatives from the town, airport, engineering consultant, runway was not full width because parts of the pavement wereFAA and state Department of Transportation. still covered.After grant assurances were in place from the municipally owned In contrast, the new Larue has no trouble handling heavyairport, engineers delved into details about the snowblower itself. amounts of snow. The company tests all of its machines byFAA awarded the airport a $543,000 grant in July 2019 to driving them through a large water basin to see how long it takespurchase a new snowblower. During the design phase (January each snowblower to empty the water.to March 2019), Hoyle Tanner & Associates wrote specifications Like the new equipment, MLTs two part-time employeesbased on the square footage of MLTs runways, expected local have increased efficiency at MLT. One person can snowblow thesnowfall, performance of its existing equipment, and size of new runways with the new Larue, while another clears the parking lotsequipment needed. with a pickup truck, and the third team member operates a 1994The engineering consultant relied on airport personnel, existing International International Navistar dump truck with a 10-foot plowbase files and data from Google Earth to calculate the square and 11-foot wing on the side.footage of plowable asphalt and gather other key information.100% Funding The bidding process to find an equipment manufacturer began Acquiring the game-changing equipment took about two and a halfin March 2019. Respondents were evaluated on qualifications, years. Due to the airports location in Maine and the advanced ageprice, supply bonds, equipment performance, warranty bonds of its existing snowblower, MLT qualified for capital improvementand targeted contract programs such as Buy America and funding from the FAA in spring 2018.Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. Hoyle Tanner & Associates Inc. helped secure funding, write theAdditional Paperworkequipment specifications and bid out the contract. FAA coveredHoyle Tanner & Associates reached out to seven manufacturers 90% of the total cost, and the town and state each paid 5%.and received four bids, with Larue submitting the lowest qualified A scoping meeting in fall 2018 outlined the design andbid. Because it is a Canadian company, a few extra steps were budget for MLTs prospective equipment. Attendees includedneeded to receive approval from the FAA because the federal agency requires grant money to be spent on American-made products. Any manufacturer that is outside the U.S. needs to prove that 65% of its equipment is created with American-made materials, and airports need a waiver to purchase from such companies.We work with the FAA on a case-by-case basis to meet their qualifications and check all the requirements, explains Stephane Rousselle, sales manager at J.A. Larue Inc. The waiver process took about six months,STEPHANE ROUSSELLEand Larue was awarded the contract in early October 2019. On average, procurement usually takes about 275 calendar days. However, due to COVID, manufacturing was delayed. The snowblower for MLT took Larue 300 calendar days to build. For Campbell, it was well worth the wait. Our winter operations have been significantly improved because of this new investment, he says. Im very pleased with this new snowblower. Its a phenomenal piece of equipment. October 2022AirportImprovement.com'