Runways reopened at PIA

PEORIA, IL -- The main runway at the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport reopened to commercial traffic at approximately 10:15 a.m. today (January 8). The runways had been closed since 4:30 p.m. Sunday when freezing rain adhered to the frozen pavement, making it difficult for airport snow crews to remove the resulting ice.

"Our crews worked all night trying to remove the ice and improve braking action on the runway," said Gene Olson, Director of Airports. "We tried every tactic we knew, and nothing worked. We had a limited supply of an older deicer chemical, and we decided to try it. That, combined with warmer temperatures, finally did the trick."

Added Olson, "Clearing a runway isn't the same as clearing a road of snow and ice. Since airplanes are mostly made of aluminum, we are prohibited from using salt on the runways. And, for some reason, the liquid pavement deicer we have successfully used in the past was not working Sunday.

"We know this was a terrible inconvenience to our travelers and our airlines, and we will be determining a best course of action to avoid this in the future."

Technically, PIA's runways reopened at 7:45 a.m. Monday for general aviation traffic. However, the runways didn't meet commercial airline traffic standards until 10:15 a.m.

Meanwhile, the airport's roads and parking lots have been plowed and salted and are in good condition. The airport's terminal building remains open, and airline ticket counters are open.

Passengers should check with their airline to determine the latest status of their flights. 




  • For information, contact:
  • Gene Olson, Director of Airports
  • Phone: 309-697-8272
  • Email:

Follow us on Facebook