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  • This is Aomori

  • Aomori Airport in fact

  • and behind me you see some of the tractors coming

  • trucks cleaning the runway

  • Couple of months ago a friend told me,

  • something really special happens here in Aomori

  • and I came here for this report

  • Behind me a bunch of professionals clean the runway

  • like no other place in the world

  • They even have a name

  • White Impulse

  • It starts early in the morning as the division leader

  • gets a runway report

  • and orders from the airport

  • 35 plows attack the runway with a clear mission

  • remove the snow so a flight can land

  • Aomori Airport's runway is 3000 meters long

  • but they also need to plow the apron and the taxi way

  • The cleanup seems like a choreographed like ballet of machines

  • Each plow or truck has its specific purpose

  • Together as a team,

  • they can clear the runway in 40 minutes

  • Meanwhile, in the air is JAL flight 141

  • a Boeing 737 from Tokyo inbound for Aomori in 30 minutes

  • White Impulse is on it

  • despite heavy snow and near white out conditions,

  • The runway is in plain sight again

  • Believe it or not, Aomori Airport has never had a cancelled flight

  • due to snow

  • Any cancellation happens on the other end of the flight

  • not here in Aomori

  • It's easy to be inspired watching the machines working together

  • something each member is proud of

  • The flight is just 15 minutes out now

  • Aomori Prefecture is entirely covered in snow

  • Everywhere except the airport

  • JAL flight 141 is on approach now

  • Has White Impulse completed the mission?

  • A final inspection requires ground crew

  • Any ice or debris that could threaten a landing

  • is shoveled and removed

  • and there they are for the last sweep and plow

  • White Impulse

  • Mission Complete

  • The team returns to home base

  • as another flight readies for departure,

  • now with a clear runway to the sky

  • The final truck has safely returned

  • The airplane has the go ahead to land

  • It's another perfect landing

  • thanks to the team

  • The fleet of machines standing tall and proud

  • saluting the pilots and passengers as the plane taxis by

  • White Impulse is standing by for the next mission

  • I hope you didn't forget about that other flight

  • Outbound to Osaka, another perfect takeoff

  • AIRPORT SNOWPLOW EQUIPTMENT OVERLOAD

  • I got a close look at the fleet of plows

  • all 38 of them

  • Each one is put to the test

  • from late October to March

  • during the snow season in Aomori

  • This one breaks up the snow and launches it to the side

  • This one sweeps the runway with bristles

  • that look like dried spaghetti

  • You can see that it's been used a lot this season

  • and the bristles need to be replaced

  • The waves of steel on this plow

  • jet out the runway snow

  • Each plow has a position in the formation and purpose

  • Real heavy machinery

  • The Antifreeze Sprayer is the longest in the fleet

  • I have a chance to check out this plow and sweeper

  • Let's have a look inside

  • Woah!

  • I'm not allowed to touch anything in here

  • I love the positioning high off the ground

  • You can just see about everything

  • and these seats bounce

  • so if you're going over some rough terrain,

  • which you will do with this sweeper and plow,

  • you're going to be doing it in style

  • Right -- there is a CB, lots of controls and buttons

  • joystick, there is even a computer panel,

  • a screen, LCD screen

  • Look really complicated

  • There's a lot to drive in each truck,

  • and each one requires a new skill to learn

  • Quite a view from 2 meters up

  • Although I couldn't drive one,

  • I left with that same snow plow high

  • I stopped by the White Impulse headquarters

  • for more insight on how they accomplished

  • a perfect record of runway plowing success

  • The team lives and breathes strategy

  • Part of their secrets lies in regular meeting

  • to improve their methods

  • Simulating the most challenging situations means

  • you'll be ready for it when they occur

  • This group of younger members are now veterans

  • Some are second generation White Impulse members

  • When your father was a member, expectations are very high

  • I asked about the job and what it means to be a member

  • A feeling of accomplishment

  • Learning to operate every machine

  • is an accomplishment every member respects

  • I sat down with the divisional leader

  • to talked to him about his experience

  • and what he does when it's not snowing

  • There doesn't seem to be a challenge White Impulse can't handle

  • I may not be a member,

  • but that doesn't mean I can't clear the runway

  • Aomori Airport has a curry rice challenge

  • White Curry

  • More like stew with seafood, more like snow

  • This isn't your ordinary spoon either

  • That's right, you've been given a shovel

  • Your mission should be clear

  • Clean the runway before your flight

  • A fun way to say goodbye to

  • Aomori's snow winter wonderland

  • and that's exactly what Aomori is during the winter

  • Aomori prefecture is in the very north end of Honshu Island

  • in the Tohoku region

  • Here's the airport and city

  • but the prefecture straddles the Pacific ocean and Sea of Japan

  • loaded with mountains and nature in the middle

  • and snow

  • Let's look at some of the attractions

  • Onsen. Natural hot springs are everywhere in Aomori

  • The five stage of hot spring relaxation.

  • And when the body gets too warm,

  • there is always the snow

  • better stick to the bath

  • Aomori has a special winter time train

  • It's an old style train with an experience going back in time

  • to stay warm

  • The train has stoves installed

  • inside the passenger compartment

  • The smoke goes out the chimney

  • As you can see, there is nothing ordinary about it

  • Try some hot grilled squid to pass the time

  • A winter ride that shouldn't be missed

  • Snow Blowers in the mountains create high walls

  • like here at Sukayu Onsen

  • Volcanic heat keeps this swamp thawed

  • and steaming hot

  • Skiing is popular in Aomori

  • and the Hakkoda Ropeway will take you to the top

  • You can also hike around the snow monsters

  • Trees caked with snow at the summit

  • and watch your step

  • Mt. Iwaki is a stratovolcano that last erupted in 1863

  • and nearby is an area dedicated to art

  • In the summer it's a rice field,

  • but during the winter months

  • It's this

  • Snow art

  • A technique taught here by master Simon Beck

  • He's been teaching locals to make their own snow art

  • and it is now become an attraction for good reason

  • It's beautiful

  • Departing Aomori Airport is also as important

  • to local staff as arriving

  • Here airline workers show their appreciation

  • and give their respect to the passengers with a bow

  • They see the plane off until it's out of sight

  • Winter adventures in Aomori are something to remember

  • but don't forget that it starts with that perfect landing

  • and beautiful runwayand White Impulse

  • So whether it's a small propeller plane or

  • a massive jumbo jet,

  • flying into Aomori Airport is always an experience

  • so if you come to Japan in the winter,

  • and you fly here to Aomori, don't worry

  • White Impulse has your back

  • real or some sort of fake news

  • I head to Osaka to check out

  • the Highway through a Building story

  • If you liked it, hit that subscribe button

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This is Aomori

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B1 aomori runway impulse plow airport flight

Extreme Airport Snow Plowing | Aomori's White Impulse Story ★ ONLY in JAPAN

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    Summer posted on 2020/10/24
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