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Transport Minister Doug Lewis on Tuesday announced new de-icing procedures for airplanes in the aftermath of a string of accidents related to ground icing at airports.

His announcement followed an interim report on a March 1989 Air Ontario crash at Dryden, Ont., that killed 24 passengers and crew members. In three previous aircraft accidents similar to the Dryden crash, he said, the aircraft had been de-iced but were held on the ground for 27 to 60 minutes before takeoff.

In several of these accidents, "it is apparent that the pilot did not have a proper appreciation of the potentially catastrophic effects of ice, frost or snow formations that were on his aircraft," Lewis said.

Lewis said Canada would implement "gate-hold" procedures to keep aircraft at the gate until there is a firm takeoff time, ensuring that planes can take off directly after de-icing.

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