On the Radar:
Central Deicing Facility

Joerg Sutter, Development & Operation Support

On the radar August 25, 2023
A new generation of airports now focus on creating a calm, functional and aesthetically pleasing environment to reduce the stress of international travel. One of the priorities of the modern airport is to give a quality experience to all passengers, incoming and outgoing. Large open halls allow for sunlight to fill the lower levels of the buildings and make the travelers’ experience more joyful.

To prevent long walks through endless corridors, the airport gate layout and tarmac design have aimed to bring the plane to the passenger, namely by reducing the distance in between. This has led to infield terminals reachable by air-train or satellite gate areas allowing fast and short connection.

When it comes to deicing, the most efficient way to operate is by having a central deicing facility close to the take-off runway. This is a key factor in the event of a snowstorm as the aircraft needs to be able to take off within a given–and rather short–amount of time. This delay is called holdover time (HOT) and is the estimated time that deicing or anti-icing fluid will prevent the formation of frost or ice and the accumulation of snow on the critical surfaces of an aircraft.

Furthermore, a central deicing facility allows recuperation of the sprayed deicing fluid on the pad, which can later be treated by one of Aeromag’s facilities and makes for a more environmentally friendly solution.

Many airports across the world have integrated greener elements into their designs and operation strategies, as well as subscribed to eco-friendly initiatives. The Airport Carbon Accreditation program, run by Airports Council International (ACI), is helping more than 200 airports to manage their emissions, with the ultimate goal of carbon neutrality.

Aeromag is a leader in the matter, as the company has designed and built the Montreal deicing facility with an integrated drainage system. This addition allows to collect all deicing fluid used on the central deicing facility. As a further step, Aeromag installed a closed loop system on-site to fully recycle the deicing fluid. This innovative approach makes the Montreal airport the first of its kind in the world where the recycled deicing fluid is used again by the same airlines to deice their aircraft.