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craft is done through the spray-on application of chemicals. Deicing may be completed on the entire aircraft or just on the wings and tail. Anti-icing is an additional precautionary procedure that provides protection against the formation of frost or ice and the accumulation of snow on treated sur- faces of an aircraft for a period of time prior to take-off. When temperatures fall below freezing, as they tend to


do in Winnipeg, all aircraft must be inspected immediately prior to take-off to confirm that they are free of frozen con- taminants. Ultimately, this is the responsibility of the pilot- in-command; however ground, maintenance or any other operational personnel are responsible for reporting any fro- zen contamination on the aircraft to the pilot-in-command as well.


Deicing, how it’s done Swissport Canada Deicing operates the central deicing


facility in Winnipeg from Sept. 15 to May 31, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Tis is Winnipeg; weather is un- predictable. It should come as no surprise that two years ago deicing was still going on in June! While temperatures can be balmy during these months, there is always a risk of night-time or morning frost. Planes arriving at the airport may also have gone through freezing precipitation, so Swis- sport’s services need to be available. In Winnipeg, aircraft that require deicing head over to the


central deicing facility on their way to the runway. Contam- inants are removed by spraying on a deicing fluid, referred to as type one. “Operators use a vehicle called a Beta Elephant, so named


because the spray arms resemble the trunk of its namesake. It is very nimble and can be operated by one person us- ing foot pedals and a joystick. Our high-tech machinery is able to change the concentration to meet the requirements


of the outside air temperature. Water is added, the fluid is heated and sprayed on with a flexible arm that can reach five to 16 metres,” explains Jeff Burtch, manager for Swis- sport’s Winnipeg facility. Heated type one fluid melts the ice and removes it from the aircraft. At Winnipeg Richard- son International Airport this formula consists of ethylene glycol, and it is colour-dyed orange. Ethylene glycol works similarly to other chemical deicers in that it prevents water molecules from binding above a certain temperature. Te concentration is determined by how much the temperature is below freezing. In some cases both deicing and anti-icing preparations


are applied to the aircraft. When planes undergo a two-step procedure, the type one or deicing formula, must thoroughly clear any debris before any anti-icing, or type four product is applied. Anti-icing formulas are required for active precipitation


conditions. “Type four is applied full strength to an aircraft and will stop the accumulation of sleet or snow. Anti-icing products are colour-dyed lime green. Swissport prefers to work with the colour-dyed fluids as it can be confirmed easily by visual observation that an aircraft has received a complete deice or anti-ice preparation,” Jeff says. Anti-ice fluids provide protection against the formation of ice while the aircraft is stationary for a time. It adheres to the plane in a gel-like consistency, preventing build-up, but when the plane accelerates for take-off the fluid’s consistency changes, it becomes thinner and runs off the plane leaving behind the aircraft’s clean, smooth, aerodynamic surface. “Tere is a certain pride working in the deicing facility in


Winnipeg. We are a winter airport and we hold ourselves to a higher standard. We go above and beyond what is expected, our rule is to make it clean and keep it clean,” says Jeff.


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