The process of de-icing aircraft used to be performed by dragging ropes over aircraft to break up the ice. Today, de-icing is accomplished by spraying propylene glycol on the planes to prevent freezing. "Last year we de-iced 12,000 airplanes. This year we're on pace for about 14,000," said Craig Palmer, coordinator of winter operations at United Airlines.

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WGN-TV (Chicago)

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