Chapter 4 - Preventative Measures and Deicing Procedures

Sufficient Lead Time

60.  An efficient and reliable method of communication, appropriate to the site, allows pilots to communicate their intentions to the Deicing Operator at the earliest possible time. This may include details on aircraft type, on the estimated time of arrival (ETA) at the de-ice pad (if off gate deicing operations are in effect), on the possible requirement for a ground power unit (GPU), on the possible requirement for engine shutdown and treatment of the propellers (if so equipped), on the pertinent type of treatment required, on the type of any fluid(s) which may be required, or on any anomalies specific to the impending operation.

61.  This early exchange of information allows the flight crew to adapt to problems that may come to light as a result of feedback received through early communication with the Deicing Operator. For example, if a specific fluid type was found to be unavailable, the pilot would be in a better position to review options and proceed with alternate arrangements if necessary and thereby reduce confusion and delay during ground deicing operations. This scenario will always be preferable to a situation where an aircraft arrives at the deicing location and then, due to a problem unknown to the pilot, is unable to undergo deicing with the likely result in the aircraft returning to the gate. This causes a delay and will inconvenience everyone involved; including the passengers and crews of other aircraft waiting in turn to enter the deicing facility or to use the deicing equipment.

62.  On the other hand, if a flight crew receives an early warning of problems such as other aircraft experiencing unusually long delays, the aircraft PIC might elect to alter his plans. The change of plans may include adjusting fuel uplift, making additional communications. From an airport perspective this pre-planning can reduce congestion and improve on time departure success rates and contribute to safe ground operations.

63.  In summary, communication between the pilot and the Deicing Operator, as soon as possible in advance of the aircraft arriving at the deicing location, ensures that the deicing operation will be accomplished in the safest and most efficient manner, for both the flight crew and the ground crew.