London Southend has become the first airport in Britain to deliver a purpose-built aircraft de-icing facility, increasing efficiency and the speed of de-icing when bad weather hits.
Now instead of de-icing when the plane is on its stand - fully loaded with passengers keen to depart - an aircraft can simply push back and taxi to the centralised facility.
Here, with engines running, the plane will be efficiently de-iced before smoothly taxiing for take-off.
This new operation enables more aircraft to de-ice more quickly and to get to the runway for departure well within hold-over times.
De-icing fluid is captured by the pads drainage and taken for specialist treatment before being safely disposed of.
Glyn Jones, chief executive of Stobart Aviation, owners of London Southend Airport, said: “This new de-icing facility is another example of London Southend leading the way within the aviation industry, using innovative, brand new technology to provide a much better airport experience for our partners and passengers.
“For both travellers and airlines there is nothing more frustrating than bad weather leading to delays, so we’ve – quite literally – invented a solution to try and minimise that.”
Construction of the facility started in October 2017, and it has now been tested and approved by London Southend Airport airline partner’s easyJet and Stobart Air.