The importance of forward planning and preparation
Established for over 15 years as a manufacturer and supplier of environmentally friendly runway and commercial de-icers, Proviron supplies high quality acetate and formate based de-icers in both liquid and solid form. It recently strengthened its product portfolio with the addition of aircraft de-icing and anti-icing fluids.
Proviron supplies runway and aircraft de-icing and anti-icing products all over Europe, from Scandinavia to Turkey, and Iceland to the Baltic States. During the last few years, the company has heavily invested in its de-icing activities in order to expand its production capacity and grow its market share in Europe. Proviron recently added Vienna Airport and Prague Airport, among others, to its customer portfolio.
“The decision to manufacture and supply aircraft de-/anti-icing fluid (ADF) products in Europe was mainly driven by the fact that airlines, ground handlers and airports were unhappy with the quality and/or service of their current ADF suppliers, or were sometimes even ‘left in the cold’ when winter was challenging,” explained Frederic Versavel, Business Manager De-icing Solutions, Proviron. “Proviron teamed up with its long-term partner Cryotech (USA), world leader in de-icing technology. Proviron manufactures the full range of Cryotech’s ADF products (Type I, II and IV), all of which are FAA approved, fully comply with the latest SAE AMS requirements, and are proven and very popular with airline operators in the US.”
Following the harsh winter conditions of recent years, Proviron has noticed that the requested lead times for receiving runway or aircraft de-/anti-icing products have become shorter. It has also seen that airports, airlines and ground handlers have increased their storage capacity to be better prepared for severe winters.
“As always, forward planning and preparation prior to the start of winter is critical,” Versavel commented. “It is vital, as well as being common sense, to ensure that de-icer stock levels are kept full throughout the winter season. Preparedness combined with good communications between customer and supplier can go a long way to ensuring things run smoothly.”
Vestergaard supplies a range of de-icing vehicles designed to ensure that aircraft get off the ground safely. There are several innovative features, but the most prominent one for this year is the Precise Positioning System, which helps keep the nozzle within exactly one metre of the aircraft surface – the optimal distance in de-icing.
The company is present across the world, with very large operations in Germany, France, the UK, Scandinavia, Russia, Canada, the US, Japan, Korea, and lately also China. Its latest big order in Europe is to service British Airways at London Heathrow with 10 Elephant Beta aircraft de-icers.
“The new Precise Positioning System works with sensors and the safety aspect is that the nozzle cannot touch the aircraft surface when engaged, and it aids the operator to stay within the most optimal distance, thus helping save on both fluids needed and time needed for the de-icing operation,” said Lars Barsoe, Sales Manager, Vestergaard. Commenting on the environmental benefits of the Precise Positioning System, he added that the saving on fluids means a corresponding saving on energy. “Because the system also speeds up the de-icing, there will be less taxiing and waiting with engines running, again helping the environment, and decreasing congestion on aprons,” Barsoe stated.
Of course, an effective winter services strategy must have a well-trained staff and a solid winter operations plan that includes the various players on the airport. For Vestergaard, de-icing is the focal point, and Barsoe explained that “it is very important that the tower releases aircraft at the right time, in the right sequence to push back, to fit with de-icing pad capacity and runway capacity”. “The de-icing operation then has to be made up of a well-trained, well-motivated, and well-equipped group,” he concluded.