De-Icing Fluid Shortage Worries FAA

(CBS) U.S. airplanes face a cold reality this winter as a potential shortage of the chemical used to de-ice planes looms, according to a Federal Aviation Administration memo.

The FAA pointed to labor disputes among mining facilities that manufacture the chemical potassium acetate, which is used to keep planes and runways free from snow and ice.

In the memo, dated Oct. 29, the FAA says it expects 60 percent less de-icing fluid.

"It is possible that runways may not be able to be maintained to the same level as previous years during winter storms," said an FAA memo sent to airlines Oct. 29. That could prompt a reduction in the typical flow of takeoffs and landings during storms, the memo said.

A 99-day strike at a mine in Canada has helped stall production of the de-icing fluid, the USA Today reported.

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