London Southend Airport has become the first airport in Britain to deliver a purpose built aircraft de-icing facility, aiming to increase efficiency and the speed of de-icing.

Instead of de-icing when the plane is on its stand and fully loaded with passengers, an aircraft can push back and taxi to the Centralised De-icing Facility. With engines running, the plane will be efficiently de-iced before taxiing for take-off.

This facility enables more aircraft to de-ice more quickly and to get to the runway for departure well within hold-over times.

The 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, the 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 the airport’s airline partners easyJet and Stobart Air.

“We’re delighted to see the introduction of a new de-icing facility at London Southend Airport,” said Graeme Buchanan, managing director of Stobart Air. 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.”

Captain Chris Foster, flight operations performance manager, easyJet, welcomed the new de-icing facility, and said: “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 into the air and on to their destinations quickly and safely.”

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