February 9 – 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 De-icing 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 Officer of Stobart Aviation, owners of London Southend Ai rport says: “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.
Captain Chris Foster, Flight Operations Performance Manager, easyJet, said “We welcome the installation of the new de-icing facility as part of a UK first at London Southend Airport. The innovative new technology will assist us in delivering even greater efficiencies which ultimately mean we can improve our passengers’ experience when flying with us. The new facility has the potential to help us further improve our already industry-leading on time performance, getting passengers flying with us from London Southend in to the air and on to on their destinations quickly and safely.”
Graeme Buchanan, Managing Director of Stobart Air, says: “We’re delighted to see the introduction of a new de-icing facility at London Southend Airport. Stobart Air is dedicated to providing a convenient and seamless service to passengers and partners and this facility strengthens our position. In a UK first, the new de-icing facility is a demonstration of cutting edge technology and we will continue to push the boundaries of innovation.”