Before an aircraft can take off, it has to get cleared of snow and ice to ensure safe flight characteristics. A mixture of de-icing fluid and water is used to remove contamination. During winter precipitation a protective layer (anti-icing) is applied afterwards to prevent further adhesion of snow and ice. The de-icing is done with special equipment and with trained and qualified personnel at the gate position or the designated remote de-icing pads.
In Frankfurt, we use two different types of fluids that differ in their composition of glycol and water, the addition of thickeners and thus their attributes. Our de-icing fluid type I contains 80% glycol, no thickeners and is a thin liquid. It is suitable for de-icing but only offers a limited protection against refreezing. Type I always has to be mixed with water, the mixture is produced proportional to the outside air-temperature. Our de-icing fluid type IV contains 50% glycol and the addition of thickeners improves the adhesion to the aircraft surfaces. That way, winter precipitation can be absorbed and liquified, that results in a better holdover time. The fluid can be applied – depending on the required protective effect – in predefined dilutions (50% or 75%) or pure. The decision which fluid is used happens situationally, depending on the weather situation, contamination or the location of the de-icing.
The decision if an aircraft depends on the pilot. There are two possibilites for the deicing request: Either the pilot contacts us during the planned off-block-time via the datalink in the cockpit or informs us about the de-icing requirement over the flight radio frequency 121.985 MHz.
After the inquiry we create an order in the Aircraft De-icing Center (ADC) and inform the pilot about the estimated de-icing time. The de-icing process will be done either at the current position of the aircraft or at one of the Remote Deicing Pads.
At the planned time the N*ICE team arrives at the cleared position with the de-icing vehicles (position de-icing) or an airplane can taxi to the special de-icing position located near the departure runway (remote de-icing).
At the planned time, N*ICE is ready on the de-icing position
For the de-icing, we deploy our vehicles with NAD-technology that meet all the requirements for a fast and sustainable de-icing and are also predestined for the usage of large aircrafts e.g. the A380.
Existing signs of ice will be removed with the special de-icing fluid. Additionally, we apply a "protective layer", which prevent refreezing of the aircraft surfaces, if requried. The de-icing procedure takes approximately 10-15min.
After the completion of the de-icing process, the ICEMAN transmits the "Anti-Icing Code" to the cockpit.
The aircraft is now ready to taxi to the runway, whether it has been de-iced at the parking position or on one of our de-icing pads.
The "Anti-Icing Code" informs the flight crew about the required concentration and type of de-icing fluid used, as well as start time of Anti-icing. The code confirms that the aircraft is free of snow and ice.
For carriers with over-night-stands at Frankfurt Airport, N*ICE offers the so-called Pre-Deicing Service:
In case of weather conditions likely leading to the necessity of aircraft de-icing, N*ICE operates the de-/anti-icing before any other ground handling activities around the aircraft begin.
To request the pre-deicing service, the conclusion of a contract is required. Please contact us for further information.