The wings and rear tail components of an aircraft are engineered with a very specific shape in order to provide lift and control. When snow and ice are covering the wings, it changes the air dynamics and disrupts the airflow across the surface. The lift performance is thus reduced. For this reason, it is absolutely necessary to remove all ice and snow from the aircraft before takeoff. In order to remove ice and snow from the airframe, a special liquid is sprayed onto the private jet by a specifically designed vehicle called de-icing rig. There are two kinds of liquids that can be applied on an aircraft: de-icing fluid and anti-icing fluid.
DE-icing fluid is a mixture of propylene glycol and water that is heated and sprayed under pressure to remove all ice and snow from the aircraft. The liquid’s color is usually orange, to show where it has been applied. De-icing fluid has only a limited ability to prevent ice and snow from forming again. This is why the prevailing weather conditions must be assessed and if further ice or snow is currently forming or anticipated prior to takeoff, then the anti-icing fluid should be applied.
ANTI-icing is considered to be the application of chemicals (viscous fluid) that not only de-ice but also remain longer on the airframe to delay the reformation of ice for a certain period of time.
How much does it cost?
The de-icing of a private jet can be expensive and depends mainly on: the size of the aircraft, the amount of snow and ice on the aircraft at the time of de-icing (determining the quantity of liquid to use), the airport cost of the de-icing fluid, and the weather conditions (determining which fluid should be used). The charterer is liable for de-icing fees, which are charged after the flight. The cost of de-icing can vary from hundreds to thousands of euros. LunaJets only invoices the exact cost of de-icing after the flight and can provide the handling invoice if needed. Some aircraft operators offer special insurances for ‘very light jets’. For more details, please ask any of our sales representatives.
Tips to avoid or reduce de-icing fees
At LunaJets, our experts will make sure to review all the flight details the night before the flight:
LunaJets will inform you about the weather conditions the night before the flight and suggest flight options accordingly.
Renting a hangar for the night could be a good investment to avoid de-icing fees, depending on the hangar rental cost and availability (upon request).
Using a heated hangar just before your flight can help reduce de-icing costs or even avoid it.
LunaJets will inform the operator of your exact arrival time at the terminal. At LunaJets we always keep the operator informed of the exact client arrival time to make sure the de-icing procedure starts on time, thus avoiding the de-icing fluid to be applied twice.
LunaJets will ask the operator to make sure the client is on board before the de-icing procedure to reduce the time between de-icing and takeoff.
Providing a safe flight and superior service to our clients is of the utmost importance for LunaJets. Each flight is different and requires special attention. If you have specific questions for your upcoming flights, do not hesitate to call us at +41 22 782 12 12.