"As an Air Canada Deicing Coordinator, I lead a team of Deicing Inspectors to determine which aircraft need to go to @Toronto Pearson’s Central Deicing Facility (CDF) before take-off. We inspect every aircraft to determine whether they need to go to the CDF, depending on whether they have what we term “contamination”, which includes snow, frost or freezing rain.
Our job comes down to the safety of our customers and our aircraft. As the temperature drops, there are a lot of factors that can create frost, snow, or ice on an aircraft. Our Deicing Inspectors drive down the apron each morning and throughout the day to inspect our aircraft at the gates in the order that they depart. Our vehicles have an inspection platform that gives the inspectors close access to the wing, allowing them to do what we call a “tactile”, which means they actually reach out and touch the wing to determine if and what contamination exists. The pilots make the final call for deicing, so I make sure they know if their aircraft is clean or what kind of contaminants it has.
Deicing uses two different types of glycol fluid: Type 1 and 4. Type 1 is orange and is heated to a certain temperature. It’s used to remove contamination from the surface of an aircraft. Type 4 is green and stops more snow or ice from accumulating after the Type 1 application. Inspectors carry Type 1 fluid in their vehicles and might do small frost sprays at the gate. If the contamination is thicker than an Inspector can handle, it goes to the CDF to be sprayed down. My role is to prioritize the order in which our flights must go to the CDF.
When deicing, no two days are ever alike because everything depends on the weather. We’re talking with our Operations Centre, Flight Dispatch, the Central Deicing Facility, and our pilots. We know that if we delay an aircraft now, we delay the customers on that flight, which can have a chain effect. We avoid that whenever possible, but always ensuring safety is our number one priority, every day."
- Bruno, Deicing Coordinator for Air Canada at Toronto Pearson International Airport.