Snow forcing cancellations, delays at D/FW Airport

If you plan to fly Thursday out of D/FW Airport, you'd better have some patience.

As of 3:30 p.m., 350 flights had been canceled, and that number could increase as the day progresses, an airport spokesman said Thursday.

On a normal dry February day, about 850 planes depart the airport. In the summertime, about 900 depart every day.

"Anyone coming to the airport should just be prepared when they get here," said airport spokesman David Magana. "It may say that a flight will take off but by the time you get here it could be canceled."

The reason: Mother Nature's dumping of snow in North Texas. Forecasters are predicting more than six inches Thursday.

Airport workers started de-icing planes at five pads before 6 a.m. Thursday, and they will continue as long as the snow continues to fall.

It takes about 20 minutes to de-ice a plane, Magana said.

"Once the plane is in the air, there's a system that continues to de-ice the wings to keep the frozen precipitation off," Magana said.

On a dry day, about 120 planes could depart each hour, according to airport officials. But de-icing procedures will slow that down to as low as 30 in an hour, Magana said.

Before daybreak, airport officials had already scrubbed about 30 flights to cities in the Northeast where record snowfalls had blanked that part of the country.

Magana recommended that travelers check ahead and to go to the airport's Web site at for flight information.

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