top of page
Search
  • Chidozie Uzoezie

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Delta’s Deft De-icing Operation


If you’ve ever flown during the winter months out of cold, snowy climates like Delta’s Minneapolis hub, you’ve probably heard the familiar crackle of an aircraft’s PA system followed by the captain’s advisement that your sky-chariot needs de-icing.


It’s not something most passengers give a second thought - their journey proceeds as planned, the endeavor out of sight, out of mind. You may not have realized just how crucial that process can be to a safe journey, nor the expertise needed to do it the right way.


To help us break down how it all works, we turned to our seasoned people at our Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport hub. There, Delta operates around 300 daily flights to nearly 70 destinations.


Getting people where they need to go safely and on time is Delta’s most vital promise, and de-icing crews are a critical component of that. Since October, our people at MSP have de-iced nearly 6,000 aircraft – just part of the over 30,000 aircraft that have been de-iced across the system.


“Like all Delta people, they are our strongest competitive advantage to being the best carrier out of MSP,” said Eric Phillips, S.V.P. – ACS, Cargo Ops, Clean and Ground Support Equipment “De-icing is mission-critical to running the safest and most efficient operation in the U.S., and we couldn’t do it without the knowledge and careful work of our people.”


You can get a behind the scenes look at the de-icing process from Minneapolis news stations KARE 11 and WCCO.


“I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s an incredible job,” said Corey Ellis, Ramp Agent and Trained De-Icer in MSP.


Read on for a look behind the scenes at what goes into frost-free flying.


DE-ICING IS ESSENTIAL TO SAFE AVIATION


Even small amounts of frost on a plane can affect its ability to generate lift and take off safely. When temperatures dip below 50 F (10 C) at any location (usually starting in mid-October at MSP), all aircraft are inspected daily for any signs of contaminants like frost or ice.


Delta’s de-icing process has been meticulously optimized to ensure Delta’s signature safety and reliability.


Proper de-icing in turn helps prevent delays and cancellations that can have a ripple effect throughout the Delta system.


DE-ICING IS AN ART REQUIRING INTENSIVE TRAINING


It may be a cold-weather endeavor, but Delta crews work year-round to keep their skills sharp. Each summer, Delta people at MSP host an intensive training certification program to teach agents from across the airline how to properly apply de-icing and anti-icing fluids. To qualify, each participant must master an online assessment, and the remainder of the course involves both classroom and hands-on training.


Following annual classroom and computer-based training, on-the-job practice lets employees perform a trial run of the de-icing process using trucks to spray water on parked aircraft, offering practice without the pressure of a fast-paced storm response.


WHAT DO THEY SPRAY ON THE PLANES, ANYWAY?


De-icing fluid is a mixture of propylene glycol and other chemicals and water, heated to 160-180 degrees F and sprayed under pressure to remove frost, ice and snow on the aircraft.

If snow, freezing rain or sleet is falling, anti-icing fluid must be applied to critical surfaces like the wings and tail after de-icing is complete.


On an average frost day, which is almost every day October 15-April 1, MSP uses about 2,000 gallons per day to remove frost that develops overnight. On a snowy day, the hub uses on average 40,000-50,000 gallons of glycol. After spraying all this fluid, MSP recycles it for other purposes, such as anti-freeze.


HOW DOES THE PROCESS WORK, AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?


Delta crews across the system are trained to carefully and efficiently de-ice aircraft to keep our operation on time. First, pilots put down wing flaps and disable aircraft ventilation systems to keep out any chemical odors. From there, a nose-to-tail de-icing spray can take as little as five to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the aircraft.


Anti-ice spraying takes an additional five to 10 minutes, which means one crew can fully treat up to six planes an hour, barring a major weather event.


HOW MANY PEOPLE DOES IT TAKE TO DE-ICE AN AIRCRAFT?


Aircraft can be sprayed on the pad or directly at the gate by up to four vehicles, each manned by one driver and one sprayer. If spraying occurs on the pad, an additional crew member may be assigned to communicate with the flight deck and complete the final inspection before authorizing take-off.


Crews also have top-of-the-line, proprietary technology at their disposal to manage the process smoothly. This includes real-time tracking, 24-hour weather monitoring and constant communication with the ramp control tower and the airline’s Operations Control Center.

ความคิดเห็น


A4-print-explore the world with ethiopian-R-1022-compressed.jpg
SAT2.jpg
unnamed.jpg
SAA2.jpg
450 x 450.png
300x300px.jpg

 Featured Posts 

Comments (25)

Guest
Sep 21, 2022

We just booked our QATAR 🇶🇦 HÔTEL yesterday for 2 différent short stars of 2 nights and 3 nights for the Final… https://www.14sb.com/fifa-world-cup-hotels.html . Not exactly cheap but ok price for 4.5 Stars luxury and in Doha Center City! Thanks and Good Luck everyone! Vamos MEXICO!

Like

Guest
Sep 30, 2022

Wow! Stunning! Hilton seems to be taking Africa by storm. Just a couple of years back, they opened the first ever in Eswatini.

Like

kasarokcaesar
Oct 24, 2022

Wonderful event and topics discussed, hopefully we see the manifestations in our African airline businesses in the nearest future. Kudos to you all.

Like

Guest
Nov 10, 2022

Hi, I'm Lucy. Please how do I embark on my travel/ tour business. I am newbie and help..

Like

Guest
Nov 18, 2022

Prices in the Sol Torremolinos Don Pablo are the same than two weeks ago.

Like

Guest
Dec 04, 2022

Good location astounding but the staffs are rude and they make me wait so long for the service. They charge me more than what is on the website and did not refund me the manager is not helping with the issue


Like

Guest
Dec 15, 2022

WoW. Amazing Review. 👍

Like

Guest
Jan 07, 2023

I spent the holidays here, I don't know why but during the holidays their reception smells like a piss Id rather not spend my special occasions here

Like
Guest
Aug 07, 2023
Replying to

Where is here.

Like

Guest
Jan 27, 2023

Thank you for sharing such a detailed review about ethiopian airlines in your post. I am an avid traveller and keep reading flight reviews to assess the options available. Your review particularly drew my attention because you have shared so many pictures to capture every aspect of the flight experience. It is a very nice effort.


More Info : https://www.cleartrip.ae/flight-booking/ethiopian-air-airlines.html

Like

Guest
Feb 27, 2023

I am really tempted to book the next ethiopian airlines ticket and relive your journey. The pictures shared with the post also reflect that you truly enjoyed the travel. Great post! I also like the fact that you have covered nuances about the food and entertainment service through the pictures. It helps people know what to expect on their travel by this airline.


More Info : https://www.cleartrip.ae/flight-booking/ethiopian-air-airlines.html


Like
WAF  300 x 300.png
EAA24-web-banner-300x300.jpg