Expert opinion: Winter operations and de-icing facilities

Within the Winter Operations In-Depth Focus, International Airport Review spoke to Dr. Andreas Brück from Clariant Produkte to source some suggestions for airports regarding how to manage the storage of de-icing fluids efficiently.

Expert opinion: Winter operations and de-icing facilities

There are several parameters to consider when storing aircraft de-icing fluids (ADFs). It starts with some obvious factors, such as high-quality products, having the storage tanks made from appropriate material (like stainless steel), having good accessibility for incoming fluid deliveries and the loading of the de-icing application equipment. 

The size of the tanks should depend on the location of the airport, general weather conditions, the number of flights and the time required for restocking the fluids, i.e. the distance to the next manufacturing site or depot. 

As a fluid manufacturer with a long history in ADFs, our global customer base benefits from our expertise in a reliable supply chain and, in particular, our constant contact and support during the winter season.

Nonetheless, there is always a variable that is rather unprecise in long-term predictions: The weather. The planning and restocking of ADFs usually start in the summer months every year, with partially-emptied tanks from the last season as stock should never run out. Hence, the products themselves should have a constant high quality with a shelf life that brings you through more than one season. Additionally, a quality control plan should be installed to ensure the safety of passengers and operations. Here, we assist our customers with the full support of our dedicated aviation lab, where our customers can get samples tested free of charge, at any time, during or outside the de-icing season.

Finally, the environment and the wastewater should be considered: The components should be harmless and recycling of the ADFs is possible! 

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