When winter bares its teeth and brings freezing temperatures, ice, sleet and snow, it is important to keep it from affecting the functionality, stability and control of the aircraft. In such weather conditions, it is vital to ensure that pieces of ice are not sucked into the aircraft’s engines and that ice, frost, sleet or snow does not form on the wings and alter their shape. All these hazards can be avoided if the aircraft is de-iced before take-off.
Two handling companies, SAS Ground Services and Nordic Aero, are in charge of de-icing aircraft at Copenhagen Airport during the winter months. De-icing is spraying an aircraft with a heated glycol-based fluid to remove and protect against snow, ice, frost and sleet. De-icing takes place just before take-off on specially designed platforms that collect the excess de-icing agent, which is then transported to treatment and biogas plants at Zealand locations.
It is important that an aircraft takes off shortly after being sprayed with de-icing fluid, as it is effective for a limited period only.
Preventive de-icing is a different method that is especially used when an aircraft is scheduled to remain at the airport for some time. Unlike traditional de-icing, preventive de-icing takes place when the aircraft arrives at the airport, with a more viscous form of glycol applied just after landing. This prevents the formation of thick layers of ice while the aircraft is at the airport and reduces the amount of glycol used before take-off.