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Winnipeg Richardson International Airport Unveils North America’s First Autonomous Airport Snowplow

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – March 14, 2019 – Today, Winnipeg Richardson International Airport introduced ‘Otto’, the first autonomous airport snowplow in North America. The plow is the result of a partnership with Manitoba companies Northstar Robotics Inc. and Airport Technologies Inc. (ATI).

‘Otto’ is a specially designed ATI Snow Mauler configured to operate autonomously using Northstar Robotics technology. The plow performs snow clearing tasks by following predetermined routes and controlling the plow blade at specific locations.

Today marks a significant milestone for the project, as the vehicle can now operate autonomously in low-risk areas of the airport. Research and development continue, with the next step being the operation of the plow in additional areas of the airport.

Otto is equipped with 3D LIDAR and RADAR that can sense its surroundings and detect obstacles. The plow is also equipped with a fault tolerant wireless emergency stop system, a further safety enhancement.

“Launching North America’s first autonomous snowplow is a great achievement for Winnipeg Richardson International Airport,” said Barry Rempel, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Our success is a direct result of bringing together partners who are committed to lead transportation innovation and growth.”

“Autonomous technology is changing how we work,” added Shawn Schaerer, President and Founder of Northstar Robotics. “It is exciting to partner with companies that are ready to adapt and pioneer this cutting-edge technology.”

“ATI is proud to be part of the team breaking new ground in snow clearing technology,” said ATI’s President, Brendon Smith. “We are excited to continue to find new ways to incorporate autonomous technology into our equipment.”

About Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.
Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc. is a non-share capital corporation responsible for the management and operation of Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, the Iqaluit International Airport and other affiliated businesses. WAA is a leader in transport innovation and growth, providing excellent airport services and facilities in a fiscally prudent manner. WAA is one of Manitoba’s Top Employers for 2019, the eighth year in a row. Learn more at

About Northstar Robotics Inc.
Northstar Robotics Inc. is a robotics technology company that was founded by an experienced farmer and robotics engineer. Our vision is to create fully autonomous systems that solve real-world challenges for off highway applications. Learn more at


About Airport Technologies Inc.
Airport Technologies Inc. (ATI) is a manufacturer of severe-duty airport snow removal equipment. Proudly Canadian, ATI’s manufacturing plant is located near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Our strength comes as a direct result of over 70 years of collective experience on the part of the Company principles in the airport operation and maintenance business. 

Tyler MacAfee
Vice President, Communications and Government Relations
Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.
Phone: 204.981.8420
24 Hour Media Line: 204.992.2791
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