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Improving Winter Airfield Operations With Centralized Deicing Facilities

An On-Demand Webinar with ACC

Click the video above to watch the on-demand webinar.

About This Webinar

A centralized deicing facility (CDF) provides air traffic controllers and airlines with a dedicated location on the airfield for safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly aircraft deicing operations. This webinar discusses the planning and design considerations for deicing facilities. The presenters of this webinar include design consultants, airline representatives, and airport operators with recent experience on several large CDF projects. The key elements covered include case studies of CDFs at Chicago O’Hare and Memphis International Airport with a focus on: (1) siting and geometry; (2) glycol distribution and collection; (3) environmental friendliness; and (4) smart pad technology.

For more information about aircraft deicing facilities, submit a service inquiry or email our Aviation experts.

This transcript was generated by computer recognition software. Although largely accurate, please excuse any unanticipated grammatical, syntax, homophone, and other interpretive errors that may have been inadvertently transcribed.


Hello everyone. Welcome to our first lunch and learn webinar of 2021, “Improving Winter Airfield Operations with Centralized Deicing Facilities.” Today’s program has been generously sponsored by Kimley-Horn, Gresham Smith, and JCAII in partnership with the Chicago Department of Aviation and Memphis International Airport. To kick off today’s webinar, here’s Tony Esposito with Kimley-Horn.

Tony Esposito:

Thank you very much Micah and welcome everybody to today’s lunch and learn. My name is Tony Esposito and I’m going to get us started with the presentation. First before I do so, I’m going to give out some introductions. On today’s presentation we have Nate Lemon, also at Kimley-Horn presenting. As well as Tim Arendt with Gresham Smith to talk about glycol collection, and Mike Hume to talk about smart pad technology. Once these individuals finish presenting, we’re going to hear from folks in the airport and airline side. We have Frank Grimaldi, who’s the Assistant Commissioner with the Chicago Department of Aviation. Matt McGleam, who is the Project Manager with the Chicago Department of Aviation, Keith Wisniewski, Manager of Operations at CDA, Gene Herrick with deicing at American Airlines, and Chris Pearson, who does deicing for United Airlines. And then we have James Hay, who is the Director of Development from Memphis International Airport and Brian Tenkhoff, who’s the Manager of Engineering and Construction at Memphis International Airport.

Our agenda today is we’re going to start off giving an overview of deicing facilities before jumping into site planning processes. And then we’re going to take a look at glycol, both the storage and distribution. And then the spent deicing fluid management as associated at a deicing facility, before finishing the technical part of our presentation with pad management and technology with JCAII. We will then at that point listen to case studies for the deicing facility at Chicago O’Hare that is currently in use and will be in use this afternoon, as well as the Memphis facility that is currently under construction. At the end, we will go through a brief Q and A. We have received over 200 questions from registrants, which we are very appreciative of. So, we will be consolidating that down to a small four or five questions we will answer today. We do plan to take a look at all those questions to be answered at a later date and to be distributed by ACC.

The overview, first of all, what is an aircraft deicing facility? Simply put, it’s a facility where the deicing or the removal of frost, ice, and slush or snow, as well as anti-icing, the protection against the accumulation of those materials, is removed from an aircraft. It’s important to note that even though some of these deicing facilities we’re going to talk about today are large hub airports, they may be scaled down to meet the needs of an airport as smaller or medium sized hub as well. So where does deicing occur? The most common place you get deiced nowadays is at the terminal gate, as many people on this call probably experienced that in the past. But as the centralized deicing facilities are starting to become more popular here in the United States, we’re seeing a lot more airports and airlines prefer the centralized deicing facility offsite, away from the terminal gates.

So why consider a centralized deicing facility? First of all, it increases safety, especially for those that are operating ground service equipment at the terminal areas. If you can imagine all the different types of equipment that are driving around, anything from lavatories and catering trucks to baggage and aircraft tugs, all driving in the same area. And in all the deicing trucks and the amount of equipment that can be in conflict with each other, as well as the glycol that can become slippery on the pavement itself, you’re creating a potentially unsafe condition at the terminal gates. So by moving into centralized deicing facility, you take a lot of those conflict points out of the deicing operation. Secondly, it captures high concentrations of glycol in consolidated location. Because of the amount of glycol that gets sprayed and drifts onto the pavement there are areas that are specifically designed in centralized deicing facilities to collect that glycol and there’s potential once it’s collected to even recycle the glycol for other uses, which we’ll talk about later in the program.

And then also it improves terminal gate utilization. During a deicing operation at the terminal gate as you can imagine, the aircraft in many cases are still occupying a gate and there’s an inbound aircraft that is supposed to take on that gate. That aircraft has to get held up somewhere else on the airfield. And it causes delay not just to that flight, but the flight following that as well. And then finally, to consider a centralized deicing facility, why not take a look at the taxi times for departure points? As we’re going to talk about more in the program, centralized deicing facilities are located closer to the departure ends of runaways. It reduces the taxi time to a departure point then and it helps with hold over times, which, simply put, is the expiration time the glycol would no longer provide its use for an aircraft, and at which point an aircraft would have to go back to get deiced once again.

Some of the standards and references that are used in the design of aircraft deicing facilities are listed on this slide share, but most importantly, from the FAA Advisory Circulars, you’d be looking at FAA AC 150/5300-14 Design of Aircraft Deicing Facilities which was just revised in the last couple of years. As well as the supplemental document SAE ARP 4902 Design of Aircraft Deicing Facilities. For those on this webinar that are calling in from international locations, there are also ICAO Annex 14, Volume 1, and ICAO Aerodrome Design Manual, Part 2 that describes some of the guidance for the design and planning of a centralized deicing facility.

So, we’re going to go onto the site planning process. And this process has multiple assets to it. First, you’re looking at a site. We’re going to take a look at the different sites that may be selected and where that is most favorable for a deicing operation in an airport. We’re also going to talk about the sizing of the CDF and how many bays would be ideally constructed and compare that against typical delays based on the size of the bays. And then finally, we’ll look at taxi routing and queuing. Now, one thing that’s important on this is you can see that the arrows are pointing from left to right, this is an iterative process. So just because we pick the site first, doesn’t mean that that’s the end location. We may determine based on the sizing, we may need to go back and look at a different site in the final design layout. So there is an iterative process that is important to keep in mind as we go through the site planning process.

So, the first part, site selection. As I mentioned a minute ago, the primary point of the site selection is to locate the deicing facility as near to the departure end of the runway as possible. That is the first because of the interest in reducing the taxi time after the last drip of glycol reaches the aircraft until the aircraft actually departs and the wheels go up. So you’re trying to decrease that taxi time so you want the taxi routes to be minimal. And the deice pad to be as close to the departure end of the runway as possible. You are looking also to benefit as many users around the airfield as possible. Most people think deicing is limited to the terminal gates and the commercial service users, but in some instances there are large hubs for cargo airlines, as well as some pretty significant FBOs. As we get down to the GAS, the GAS can be from any part of the airfield. So you want to be taking a look at all the different users that may be using your deicing facility and make sure it’s beneficial to as many users as possible.

Then finally, you want to also identify impacts that may be causing issues with development or redevelopment of existing land. These items could be anything from wetland mitigation to grant assurances that may need to be paid back to the FAA based on some of the facilities that may need to be removed for the billing and construction of the CDF. So all those items get thrown into the site selection process, and then we can take a look then at the sizing of the CDF.

The practice here is we’re looking at the number of deicing bay pads. And there are several things we need to consider with that. First is the aircraft type and traffic. What size aircraft are going to be using the deicing facility? How many aircraft are going to be taken to the deicing pad during the winter storm? And with that, what is the bay occupancy time? And there are several factors that go into the bay occupancy time. And this is really just the time the aircraft is actually deicing within the deice bay. You’re thinking of the storm type, the aircraft size, the number of deicing trucks per aircraft. And ultimately if you’re looking to maximize your efficiency of your deicing operation, you’re also considering smart pad technology.

Going back to the storm type, many people think that a heavy snow storm is always going to be your most critical deicing event, but as some airports realize right near the areas around Atlanta and Dallas, a strong freezing rain event can cause just as much havoc to the deicing operation and increase the bay occupancy time. But then once you have selected a number of pads that would be the perfect opportunity for your deicing bay, you also want to think about what is reasonable delay because you could build eight bays and have zero delay to your system, or you could economize it down to maybe six bays for instance and your delay might be up to half an hour. So, the laws of economics and what is considered reasonable delay to the airport users’ needs to be, there’s a tug and pull there a little bit as you’re going through that process, and ultimately at the end, you’re picking an option that’s going to be satisfying both the economics and the reasonable delay at your facility.

So, some of the aspects that are considered for a CDF deicing size is a geometric layout. The vehicle maneuvering area is the area that is an unmarked 12 and a half foot wide width around the silhouette of an aircraft. And this is an exclusive area to each aircraft that is during the deicing operation. So if you have another aircraft that is deicing either left or right of this aircraft in this image, that will have to have its own vehicle maneuvering area exclusive to its deicing operation.

Another component to the CDF sizing is the vehicle safety zone. And these zones are parallel to the aircraft during their taxi in and taxi out of the deicing pad. These are marked and are at a minimum 10 foot wide in their mark as you can see on the right hand side coming from the FAA advisory circular. 10 foot is the minimum, but keep in mind that these can be much wider, up to 40 or 50 feet to accommodate such things as glycol refueling stations that may have tanks that are actually sitting right on the apron so that deicing trucks don’t have to go back to a separate area driving through the snow storm. They can just refill right there on the pad and return for the next deicing of the next deicing aircraft.

High mast lighting. When you get to some of the larger deice pads, that we’re going to talk about in a few minutes, you’re going to need high mast lighting. So this is the perfect place to locate that into this vehicle safety zone. And then finally, as we talked about smart pad technology, this would be the location where we’d put electronic message boards. So all of these items getting added into the vehicle safety zone can increase your size from 10 foot wide up to 40 or 50 feet.

So, once you’ve identified your vehicle maneuvering area and your vehicle safety zones, you can lay out the pad for your deicing. In this instance, you’re seeing a composite pad that was laid out where we looked at both a narrow body and wide body mixed use. This is similar to in the terminal planning world, where we can either use two narrow bodies or one wide body for each bay. This optimizes the flexibility especially for your larger hub airports. And this exercise in particular was taking a look at what a group six to two group threes, or a group five to two group twos or two group threes, what those different options would look like before settling on a final and optimized layout for the overall of deicing facility.

Other considerations on sizing a CDF. You don’t just have the bay itself and the concrete that is associated with that, but you also need to consider where will you store and collect glycol on your deicing pad? Is it going to be offsite or is it going to be a part of this deicing bay itself? In some instances, airports want to have a ramp tower so they can visually see the aircraft going in and out of the deice pad. It also functions to serve for communication between not just the ramp tower personnel and the pilot, but also to the deicing trucks themselves. So they can be communicating with everybody that’s involved in the deicing operation to make sure that everything is running smoothly during the deicing event. And then finally, what do you do with the GSE when they’re not deicing and on the deice pad, and the deice pad wants to be used for other reasons? Looking at putting them in a staged area in a pad offsite can also improve the overall use of the deice pad during non-winter events.

So, once we have the site located and the size identified, we need to take a look at the taxi routing and queuing. And a part of that is looking at the origin locations for all the users that are going to be using the deicing. Is it coming mostly from the passenger terminals. Is it coming from the cargo hub, or is it coming from others, such as the FBO? Then once you have those locations identified, you set up a queuing route of what the taxi route would look like for the individual aircraft.

And then as we’re looking at exiting the deicing facility, we need to think about the hold over time versus the taxi time. Some hold over time for some glycol manufacturers is only a few minutes where some other glycol products will give you over half an hour. So you need to be thinking about the hold over time and that weighs against the taxi time to get out of the deice pad to the departure end of the runway. It’s also really important at this point to be coordinating with the air traffic control tower and operations at the airport to identify impacts to current taxi routes as we’ll get into that in just a moment here.

So, this is a layout plan for a deicing facility that has been completed in the past. The blue arrows indicate the taxi routes to the deicing pad. Once the deicing is completed, the aircraft follows the green routes to the departure ends of the runway. As you can see, we try and minimize that route as much as possible to get to the two departure ends of the runway in this instance. Also on this exhibit are orange arrows and this is for bypass considerations. Some airports, even though they do invest in a centralized deicing facility, will use a hybrid model and deice some aircraft at the terminal gate.

And so, once those aircraft leave the terminal area, they’re already on their hold over time. They’ve got an expiration time that they need to get off the runway and into the air. So you want a clear route from the terminal gates along that bypass taxi route to get those aircraft to the departure end of the runway as quickly as possible. So you’re trying to get them away from the queue to get into the deice pad. So in this instance, we’re taking a look at multiple routes for aircraft from different facilities on the airport itself.

Other considerations when planning a centralized deicing facility is to think about the airfield clearance criteria. Obviously there’s objects that are associated with the deicing facility, both on the ramp and off the ramp. So you need to be taking a look at the taxiway object free areas and taxi lane object free areas, as well as any wingtip clearances that are associated the taxi routes around the deicing pad. In considering that these deice pads are typically located near the departure ends of runways and navigational equipment may be on during the winter storm, you need to be thinking about signal interference and degradation. So coordinating with FAA tech ops during the planning stages of the deicing facility to make sure that you’re eliminating signal interference and degradation and not preventing aircraft from arriving during the winter event is also a critical part of this process.

And then finally, air traffic control tower line of sight. Your deicing facility may be adding new taxiways to the airfield. So you need to be paying attention that the air traffic control tower can still see those new taxiways that are associated with the deice pad. Now, sometimes the deice pad is on the movement area side of the airfield and sometimes it’s on the non-movement side of the airfield. So knowing whether or not that deicing is occurring on the movement or non-movement also plays a role to make sure that the air traffic control tower can see the aircraft, especially during movements on the moving side of the airfield.

Along with new taxiways, there may be new roads that are associated with the deconstruction of a deicing facility for GSE and other vehicle equipment that needs to access the deicing facility. So you want to revisit your airport safety plan, especially for winter operations and make sure that the priority that is given for plowing certain parts of the air fields include these taxiways as part of their priority one during a deicing event. So that those areas are not in an unkept, unsafe environment when it comes to the deicing event itself.

And then finally, as we mentioned before, nighttime lighting is going to be critical. Some of these deicing facilities, as you can see in the picture on the right, are pretty massive in size. We’re talking 10, 12 bays in some instances and lighting is going to play a critical role, especially during low visibility and nighttime operations. So you want to take a look at where to site high-mass lighting. And not just where it could be located, as we mentioned before in the vehicle safety zone, but also paying attention to your  park 77 and missed approach services for your runways, as those runways are typically going to be very near to the deicing facility itself. And with that, I’m going to turn it over to Nate Lemon and he’s going to talk about glycol storage and distribution systems.

Nate Lemon:

Thanks Tony. Like Tony stated in this section we’re going to talk about glycol storage and distribution systems. There are a variety of potential layouts, configurations, and system options available. And we’re going to try and touch on a handful here. Something to keep in mind, the design and implementation of any one of these storage and supply solutions is certainly going to be dependent on specific site variables, inputs, and facility goals. So firstly, there are typically two fluids utilized for aircraft deicing operations, Type I and Type IV. Type I being a diluted or blended with water deice fluid. It’s for the removal of ice, snow, frost, contamination from aircraft control surfaces. It can be purchased raw or blended, pre-blended and it’s typically applied hot under pressure. Type IV is a preventative glycol, anti-ice fluid. It’s always applied raw, undiluted. It has a high viscosity and can provide for higher hold over time.

The FAA does provide some general guidance as Tony may have mentioned previously under advisory circular, 150/5300-14, Design of Aircraft Deicing Facilities. There are links for these FAA holdover time guidelines for winter ops 2020 through 2021. These are guidelines. Certain providers, vendors, and suppliers will have proprietary criteria. One thing lastly, glycol is a non-Newtonian fluid with sheer characteristics. That is, it can be mechanically sheered resulting in a degrading fluid performance. And so it has to be handled properly. A lot of these fluids also have shelf lives. So those kinds of considerations need to be taken into account when developing your glycol storage facilities. There are a multitude of storage system types, each with its own associated requirements. These storage systems can be as simple as plastic tanks or totes to more permanent systems such as horizontal or vertical tanks.

The type of storage system implemented will need to be balanced with expected volume requirements, fluid turnover rates, operations both current and future, cost and many more, and we’ll get into those. But we’re going to quickly define some of the general storage configurations, layouts. So centralized tank farms versus decentralized tanks. Centralized tank farms, as the name implies is the central location for a great many number of tanks, large volume management, large fluid storage. This configuration may lend itself to better inventory management. Decentralized tank storage, that’s the storage of various tanks or totes across the airfield or maybe smaller decentralized tank farms. This may lend itself more to individual airline or consortium operations fluid management. And then finally, location of these farms or tanks. Landside versus airside. There are pluses and minuses to each. Landside located tank locations would most likely lend itself to better supply, i.e. you don’t have to escort your supplier delivery in through a secure gate, offload and then escort them out. Airside located farms would also lend themselves more to refilling operations for your deice trucks.

So, let’s dive into some of the variables that might impact the decision-making process for storage. Storage capacity and volume demand. These seem similar however, volume demand is more the demand of fluid that the deicing operations are going to require for any dicing event. Storage capacity is that fluid that you store to meet that volume demand. And there are typically two fluid types, type one, type two. So taking into account the volume demand for each type, the storage capacity required for each volume demand and then the associated space requirements. So count on tanks, the size of tanks. If you have a pressure supply network, which we’ll get into in a bit here with the supply system. If you have a pressure supply network, you’d have to make sure that you take into account space requirements for an associated pump house.

And then finally spill containment. What kind of spill containment are you going to need for the types of storage solutions that you’re contemplating? So there is a quick schematic here of a rough scenario. So here you’ll see type IV tanks raw, type I tanks raw, and then a handful, five tanks for blended. And there you can see a water line running to an offload station, a blending station with a schematic pressure pipe network routing out to potential fill stations out on site, maybe strategically located or co-located with deice pads.

Rolling from storage solutions into glycol supplies system. One of the key components for our supply system is fill stations. Whether that’s a centralized or decentralized, that is, is there a single point access for filling operations for your deice trucks? Or are there a variety of our handful of supply fill stations? Are the fill stations located landside or air side, and then the associated pressure pipe network with it. Now, again, glycol is a shareable fluid. So taking the account, the distance runs from your storage facility through a pump house to your fill station locations, routing and distance is going to be important to take into account. Here, you see a possible scenario with a centralized tank farm, two decentralized fill stations, co located with dis positions, blenders onsite for blending on demand type one and supply for type four. And there is an offload tank located at the tank farm. And this is for offloading glycol from deice trucks for whatever reason, whether that’s maintenance or other.

We have another scenario where we have decentralized tank farms with shorter supply runs to VSC located fill stations. Just another concept, reducing the run on precious supply networks. So it brings us to the pump house. Again, there wouldn’t be a need to consider space requirements and infrastructure. Here, you’re seeing a pump house facility in operation constructed and working and then a proposed schematic view. So isometric view of another pump house in contemplation. You can see pipe runs are color-coded for type one raw and blended blue for water, green for type four. Fairly robust mechanical systems designed specifically for the distribution apply call to various fill stations.

Finally, with your storage and supply systems, there is going to be a balance between the introduction of operational efficiencies to maximize aircraft throughput balanced with upfront construction and development costs, design costs and ongoing maintenance costs. So of course the more complex the system, there may be a need for additional maintenance. How you’re going to operate the system may play a role in factor into the development of your storage supply systems, whether that’s airport managed, third party service provider, some sort of Airline Consortium or Tenant managed system or combination thereof or other. So with that, as we work through storing glycol, supplying glycol to the deicing facilities, supplying it, we move into what happens after. So with that, I’m going to turn it over to my associate, Tim Arendt. And he’s going to talk to you about Spent Deicing Fluid Management.

Tim Arendt:

Okay. Thank you, Nate. Hello everyone. Again, I’m Tim Arendt from Gresham Smith and we’ll be transitioning now from the part where the deicing fluid is needed to help support safe operations to now we have this stuff on the ground and we need to do something with it. So let’s start by just asking the question. What is spent deicing fluid? There are a number of names that people use to describe this but basically it’s deicing fluid, whether it’s type one or type four, that hits the ground on the pads, outside of the pads and usually mixes with water, whether that be snow-melt, rainfall, or melting snow that’s been piled for some time.

Most of the focus when you’re speaking of a centralized deicing facility is on the spent deicer that is on the pad itself and then will get collected. But it is very important to understand that the fluid can get carried to areas outside of the pad, it can be blown by the wind, it can be tracked out by ground service vehicles and it can certainly be carried by the aircraft where it made drip onto taxiways or a shear off on the runway. And for airports that have permits conditions that may have limitations for outfalls draining areas outside of the deicing pad, sometimes collection of that storm water that’s contaminated with those fluids outside the pad is necessary in addition to collecting and processing what’s on the pad. So why do we need to do anything with the deicing fluids in the first place?

Well, there are a number of environmental impacts associated with them. By far the impact that causes most airports to have to put in some kind of spent deicer management is the impact of the deicing fluids on dissolved oxygen in the streams that may be receiving stormwater runoff. So both Propylene glycol and Ethylene glycol, when they get into the stream, they basically act like sugar for any bacteria that may be living in the stream as those bacteria consume the glycols. They also consume dissolved oxygen, if the dissolved oxygen drops below of certain levels, which for most States standards are in the four to five milligram per liter range, it can then impact the aquatic life in the stream. And so virtually every state has standards for the minimum dissolved oxygen concentration in streams. Another environmental impact is a potential formation of biofilms.

So biofilms are basically combination of bacteria with some polymeric material that maybe essentially coming from the bacteria themselves and forms this kind of web of goo, if you will, that may form on surfaces at the outfalls within the streams and sometimes this is referred to as nuisance growth in the streams. There are specific prohibitions for the presence of solids and growth like this in streams and some airports have found that if their problem is significant enough, that those biofilms lead to additional requirements for managing spent deicer. A Propylene glycol and Ethylene glycol while they’re not generally considered as toxic materials like any chemical, there is a point at which if the concentration becomes high enough, it can be toxic to aquatic license. So some States do have standards for the maximum concentrations. And then you also can have odors and foaming, which in the right situations or the wrong situations can result in the need to have additional spent deicer management.

So, most of the time, any collected stormwater containing deicer, if it’s going to be discharged on site, would be regulated through one of two permit mechanisms. Anything going to a surface for water would be regulated under an NPDES permit, whether that’d be an individual permit or a general permit like multi-sector permit. Some airports will send portions of the stormwater with deicer to the sanitary sewer. And usually they’re required to have industrial user permits, which also may have limitations. From a background standpoint, it’s important to know for an NPDES permit in particular, there are a lot of different regulatory mechanisms that can lead to the agencies putting limitations in your permit including numeric criteria or to quality criteria, narrative criteria that basically prohibits things like odors and solids. And then moving on down to things like total maximum daily load allocations which would be specific to a stream and certainly permanent writers have the ability to make their own judgment on it.

So, the reason I’m bringing this up now is as you develop and renew your NPDES permit, be aware that there may be a variety of elements that are leading to those limits. So if you’re in a situation where you’ve got limits in a permit, especially if you’ve got strict limits, then you’ll be looking at some sort of spent deicer management and in the simplest form spent deicer management is really just a series of various interlinked components used to manage the spent deicer that’s mixed in with the storm water for the purposes of reducing the environmental impact and allowing permit limits to be met.

There are potentially a lot of tools. A lot of different pieces and parts or unit processes that can be utilized when you’re managing spent deicer. You can broadly group them into two categories. One is elements associated with managing the flow really from the point of application to the point of processing and then the processing and disposal element itself. And really the question is, which combination of these is right for your situation? Right for you to meet your permit conditions to manage your operations and to minimize your costs for spent deicer management. As you’re going through the process of either planning a new system for managing spent deicer or planning revisions to those systems, which can often happen especially if the airport is undergoing increases in flights or there’s a big development series of steps to follow, starting with needing to characterize the spent deicer and moving through determining the types, sizes, sequences and locations for those components before you are able to characterize performance of different alternatives and finally come up with the costs.

And in the next few slides, we’ll touch on some of these individual elements and things to think about. So let’s start with characterizing the spent deicer. So what we’re really talking about is there’s a certain amount of deicer in stormwater that you’re starting with. You have some kind of constraint on the back end for how much you can discharge the simplest terms, what you collect minus what you’re allowed to discharge is equal to the amount that you need to process. And so there’s an exercise that every airport will need to go through in order to do that characterization. And that can be done through various combinations of monitoring data. Maybe it’s data that you already have, maybe it’s data you have to go out and sample and analyze some sort of calculation. And then there’s a number of models that are available that really represent kind of the full deicer management process and are able to look at how all these different elements are linked together and what the impacts may be.

So, let’s talk about a few items associated with flow management. So flow management, as it’s defined here encompasses a number of different items. So everything from the initial collection, from your pads or from outside of your pads, to the means of conveying the water, whether that’s through gravity or a force main and then also measures for monitoring flows and concentrations, and then potentially segregating the flows. So from a technology standpoint, if you’re collecting on the pads, really that’s when you’re looking to get your most concentrated flows for processing. If you need to collect outside of the pads with some sort of collection and conveyance system, those are going to be more dilute flows.

And this concept of monitoring and diversion, it’s sometimes a really underused element of spent deicer planning. It can actually significantly reduce the amount of storage and in-treatment and reduce your overall capital costs. And the basic idea is to do some kind of monitoring often with an online analyzer like this TOC analyzer that you see in the picture or on some short term basis every 10 minutes or so, you’re getting a concentration. Those values are then tied into some sort of valving or gates system within your collection scheme that then allows you to say the most dilute flows that maybe meet the permit limits directly to the stream and only collect exactly what you need to collect for additional processing.

So, one of the key elements of processing is the broad category of treatment. So in its simplest form treatment is really a means of either separating the glycols from the storm water or the gradient in breaking down those chemicals. Both have the same end point and that’s reducing the amount of glycols and in other breakdown products that are in the stormwater that you’re discharging. And the two most common categories are processing of the deicer for recycling and reuse of the or deicer biological treatment where you’re actually breaking down the glycols into components ultimately ending up with water and carbon dioxide that are not going to have an impact on your stream. When you think about different treatment technologies, often like to think about it in terms of those that are applicable to more concentrated flows and those that might be more applicable to dilute flows.

So, for concentrated flows that might come directly from a deicing pad. There’s three that are often used and most often, although not always associated with recycling of the glycol and that’s reverse osmosis, which is a membrane filtration type of a system, mechanical vapor recompression, which is based on evaporating some of the water and leaving behind a more concentrated glycol and then distillation, which is really the measure that’s used to concentrate the glycol up to maybe as much as 99% or it’s then brought to a place where you can put additives back in or reuse on the market or used in some other industry. There are circumstances where using those technologies for recycling are maybe not possible, maybe it’s a cost decision, maybe there’s a situation where the market’s not looking great for recycled fluid or maybe there’s simply no outside of entity nearby that can they do the final processing of it.

In those cases, you can look to more biological treatment to treat those concentrated flows. There are a number of airports that use an anaerobic fluidized bed reactor, which is what you see in the picture to the right for treatment of high concentration glycol in reduction of concentration to levels that can be discharged. If you’re getting into more dilute flows, there are a number of other biological treatment technologies including aerated gravel beds and activated sludge systems that can work. A couple of things to think about when you’re evaluating what to use for treatment. For most airports in most situations, there’s more than one treatment technology that can work. And it really comes down to sort of what’s the right fit for your facility in terms of your layout and your costs and your sequences. And then treating deicer is challenging.

It’s challenging because the water is cold. It’s challenging because there’s a lot of variability in the flow rates and a lot of variability in the concentrations. And so there’s often some form of management of the flows that’s needed before going into treatment. And a couple that with this bullet about watching out for too good to be true solutions because sometimes you’ll see things advertised about being able to get great results and those often times aren’t really good applications. They may not be able to treat as much as you want, given their conditions or they may simply not be able to process enough flow.

The other important element of the processing side of things is really storage. Usually storage and treatment are coupled together. Storage can be used to contain storm surges. So a big flows coming off of a plate you have a deicing event that happens to be followed by a rain event which is a fairly frequent and challenging occurrence. And then it can also attenuate the peak flows and concentrations going into your processing system or going into a sanitary sewer discharge. There’s a number of different ways to store the water everywhere from lined ponds or lagoons, which sometimes may need to be covered or managing hazardous wildlife attractants in orders.

Also, above ground storage tanks are fairly common. In some places underground storage tanks are also used if there’s really space constraint issues, but they definitely tend to be more expensive and so it’s a bit of a last resort for most folks. Main thing I want to get across about planning for storage is, it can take up space especially if you’re going with more of a lagoon concept. And so it’s important as you’re doing your long-term planning to kind of acknowledge that these things may take up space and identify areas where you could put that storage.

The last piece of the spent deicer management is disposing of it. Can go to a surface water, can go to a sanitarian and in some cases, it can get hauled off the non-airport facilities for further processing. When you’re thinking about where you’re going to discharge in any given airport, there may be more than one location where you can discharge. It’s really important to think about the permit compliance risk. Not many airports can afford either space-wise or money-wise to put in systems that are going to contain every last drop of storm water that may, but deicer that may ever fall. And until there’s always a decision on what is the risk under extreme conditions for say, going to the stream. It’s also important to decide on the disposal locations early because those locations are really the one that are going to set the limitations on how much you can discharge. And it’s difficult to evaluate what you need to do in terms of treatment and storage and collection and all that if you don’t understand where you’re going to be sending the water.

Talk a little bit about site selection as I indicated earlier, oftentimes when airport master plans are done or even utility master plans or stormwater master plans, the space that’s needed for spent deicer management can get overlooked and sometimes it’s just a scramble when if, there’s a realization that there is a need for significant spent deicer management of where to find it. And if you don’t have locations mapped out and set aside for that, you may be faced with sort of breaking up your systems, stores and treatment, for example, into pieces. And if you do that, you’re getting into a lot more conveyance and in a lot more cost.

Really key part of the spent deicer management planning process is determining what kind of sizes that you need for the various components. Usually the sizes for conveyance are pretty much straight up hydraulic calculations based on the amount of flow, but the peak flow rates that you have to process. But when you get into storage and treatment, those are the key things when you’re evaluating size, they definitely have a relationship to each other. Bigger treatment usually means smaller storage and in vice versa. The things you’re going to be looking at when sizing these are, what are your permit limits? What’s your drainage area? Whether it’s just on the central deicing facility area, or outside of that, your flight schedule aircraft types, and certainly your local weather conditions and storage size, as I was describing with the disposal aspect before, it’s definitely a compliance risk based decision and it needs to be understood by everyone involved exactly what those risks may be.

Generally, what we see is going with a somewhat lower treatment capacity and higher storage capacity tends to be the best combination in terms of cost, especially, but it also helps to kind of smooth out operations in treatment because it gives you a little bit better way to deal with the variability that you may see in the flows and deicer are coming down the pipe.

Bringing all of this home on spent deicer, keep in mind that you may need to do spent deicer management for what’s coming from the central deicing facility and potentially off of it. What you need to do in terms of the components, sizes, locations, costs or highly site-specific, it’s always tempting to look at the neighboring airport and see what they paid and what they use for their systems. But these systems are very much custom as driven by your own permit and deicing and infrastructure situation. And what’s ties really into the last point. That it’s really important to understand what are the sort of driving features or what you need to do for spent deicer management and what you need to do or what you have in place for constraints. So with that, I will pass it over to Mike,

Mike Hume:

Thank you, Tim. Good afternoon everybody. My name is Mike Hume. I’m with JCAII. And today we want to talk about how technology works hand in hand with CDF to help improve deicing efficiency and operations and coordination. So JCAII, we’re Canadian based company, specializing in aircraft ground deicing technology. Two platforms that we have our IceLink languages, the deicing management system and SmartPad, which is the visual coordination system that applies to the CDF and how the coordination process works. It’s a turnkey solution for airports and airlines and service providers alike. The first one I want to talk about is IceLink.

There’s a light. The first one I want to talk about is Icelink. It’s a unique operational web-based system that helps to collect and process data in real time. It’s adaptable to every fleet type of deicing truck. It eliminates the requirement for any handwritten paperwork. It is easy to use, and it reduces verbal communication and requirement to wait until frequency frees up before communications it can process. So this also provides all of the relevant stakeholders with the real time information, so decisions can be made in real time and based on situation that is at hand. This includes the flight ops, the airport operation, airline operations, as well as the deicing service provider. All of these people are getting information in real time and are able to react accordingly. By doing so, it allows us, now the system allows you to process data, to collect it and process and allow you to optimize your operations. So if you were witnessing any deficiencies, because you’re getting information in real time certain adaptations can be made to optimize the operation and ensure efficiency throughout the path.

By providing a geospatial view, which gives you a rendition of the airport and where deicing occurs at a glance operators and all stakeholders can see how the operation is running and what type of efficiency, where we’re getting with the system and with the deicing. And in doing so, it allows you to identify next available resources. Whether deicing occurs at the gate or at a CDF in a bay, it allows an operator to see which is going to be the next bay that will be freed up and allow assignments to be made accordingly.

The other element that we talk about are the truck situational awareness. As was mentioned earlier with glycol replenish and stuff like that. The system allows you to see what level of fluids are in each of the trucks, so that decisions can be made on replenishing times and how many trucks you can send, which trucks are you going to be sending first. So, and also one key element in here is also ensuring that the glycol concentration that is being applied on the aircraft is adequate for the outside temperature. So the operator or the user dispatcher can see this and see who’s in the truck, how much fluid of each quantity or what the quantities are of each truck. And what level of concentration is being applied to the aircraft.

Another element to the system is it can be integrated directly into FIDS or any airport airline system. So when we pull the information to create a flight strip, there’s very minimal typing. All the information is directly input into what we call the flight strip, allowing the operator to create a request with the proper flight number, departure time, departure gate, aircraft type, and then allowing him to create that request. We can also feed back the information pertinent to deicing, to systems such as CDM, which are being used between airports for collaborative decision making, which allows airports to know when each flight will be ready to depart and how long it takes to deice.

Another element is the deicing management system is the dashboard, which allows you to see your operation three hours, over a three hour period that it determines are you going into a snow event or are you coming out of the snow event. By looking at these numbers, you can see what your efficiencies are, and because the system can be used, either on a CDF or a gate operation, it’s broken down so you see how many flights you’ve done, different category types, how long it’s taken you to deice, what is the throughput time. So based on that, decisions are made by the airlines and by airports on throughput traffic, which can be accommodated during an event.

Real-time performance monitor, again, by selecting the date range, you can see what is your performance as far as average deicing time, average lineup time, which is the time an aircraft is scheduled to depart until you’ve actually finished deicing it. Shows you how much fluid, so when you’re looking at environmental impact, how much fluid is being applied, how much are you recovering. The information is readily available. It’ll show you how many flights are being done. So with this information, ’cause we’ve got KPIs that allows you to monitor and analyze information, to look at improvements through the process.

Another element is the global view, and this is mostly for airline operators through an OCC operating command center, which can see an entire system, which airports are being, are going through a deicing event. As we color-coded, as Nathan mentioned earlier, type one is orange in color. So if you see an icon in orange, you know that airport is deicing. Could be just frost, or if it’s green, it means you’re in a snow event requiring anti-icing fluid being applied. So I can actually now zoom in on whatever airport, it will give you the information on number of flights, how long it’s taking. So with that in mind, decisions are made, critical decisions are made if you’ve got true legality issues or aircraft rotations, that information allows you to make a decision based on real time information.

Next element we want to talk about is the pilot application, which is important. Because of the pilots coming from different places, not all pilots have the same level of experience with deicing, with winter operations. And it makes things a little bit difficult in certain airports where if pilots are coming in and are based in a warm climate, they’re not familiar. So with the creation of the pilot app, it allows the pilot to put in a request and ensure that there’s no miscommunication on the request. It will allow him to see also what is the treatment that is being proposed by the service provider on the ground and ensure that he’s happy with it and or he can make changes.

So, with that, the pilot also is involved throughout the process. So he’ll be notified when deicing will start. He will see deicing throughout the entire process. Wings being deiced, aircraft being anti-iced, and then provide him with the information. How much fluid, and then hold over time. He’s also got other tools that are available for him, such as weather forecast. So when he’s making decisions, he’s got a lot more tools available to ensure that the decisions that are being made are correct.

Now, we want to talk about the components of SmartPad. Smartpad, as I indicated, is a coordination system that works hand in hand with a CDF. There are some key components as to the Bay Management System, which I just talked about here. There’s the deicing management system, electronic message boards, thermal guidance system, and inset ground lights. All of these integrate into a one system, or can operate independently, they’re not required. And this can be scalable, as Tony mentioned earlier, to any size of airport and or facility. So the SmartPad technology, like I said, integrates everything into one system. It provides all of the stakeholders with situational awareness in real time and is designed to improve and standardized deicing operations. No matter if you are in a Chicago, where they deice almost every day, or you might be in a Dallas where they deice once in a while, it allows everybody to keep that proficiency because, as a workforce flow process.

The objective with this, again, won’t go through all of them, but it’s to increase the safety. It’s to provide necessary tools to reduce the throughput times, increase traffic and make the CDF very efficient by reducing deicing times and idle times.

The Bay Management System, as I showed you earlier, this one here will show you the operational situation on the deicing pad, which aircrafts are in which bay, at what status of the deicing process they are at. So it will help you to make determination on the next incoming aircraft and see how efficient your operation is running. So at a glance, because it’s color-coded, each color code defines a particular status of the deicing process and allows the operators to make decisions and the stakeholders to see what is happening with the deicing.

Electronic message boards, which comply with FAA, ACC, circular, and the SAE are there to provide the visuals for the pilots. The main purpose that was used initially was to ensure pilots were holding their position while deicing occurred to prevent any miscommunication and incident which we in the industry are aware have happened in the past a long time ago, where aircrafts were moving. So this ensures that the pilot has a visual to stop and stay in position while deicing is done safely.

As you can see here, message board is displaying “stop”, but before the- it also provides directive to the pilot, as he’s taxing into position using the guidance system will give them a distance to stop. And that in mind with the in-ground lighting system, ensure that the pilot is moving into the proper position that was assigned to him or her. The guidance system, again, is an automated parking system. It will provide distance to go and ensure that the pilot is stopping where he needs to, to optimize deicing position from the truck’s perspective. So you can see here, the signal provided to the aircraft is done at certain intervals, and this will then be displayed on the message board for the pilot to realize we use a Chevron count, so it will be five, four, three, two, one, and slow and stop.

The inset lighting again, providing a visual for the pilot on the direction or the location that he has been assigned. But also using inset lighting to delimit the vehicle safety zones gives the pilot that level of comfort that the vehicle safety, that the vehicles that are parked in the vehicle safety zones are at a distance that are adequate for him to taxi into the icing bay, without any concern of hitting, possibly hitting the truck. It also ensures that during snow events that paint markings usually had a tendency to disappear, the lighting will show up through a level of snow and ensure that the pilot can see that and so can the operators.

When we talk about this, just briefly cost savings. And this is something that is applicable to every airport. Money, time is money. And with the advent of technology and reducing waiting time and verbal communication, there’s a savings in time that is, to each, associated to each light that is deice on the CDF. And when you look at just a basic number here, over 5,000 flights serviced, if we take a three minute through efficiency, less idle time, the savings according to the airlines for America would equate to about a million dollars that each airline could save, and that is just being very conservative on skimming the top here.

So, the advantage of automation is to be able to process more flights per hour and reduce flight cancellations, reduction for, in needs for staff and equipment, and improve safety. As Tony mentioned, the environment in a CDF is for deicing, there is no ground equipment around. So the operators gain more proficiency in positioning in and out and going back into their vehicle safety zone. So, all of that translates to reduction in processing time and savings for the airlines.

So, before I pass it off to O’Hare, that will talk about their situation, I just want to run a quick video. It’s just a summary of what I just talked about just to give everybody an overview. So if you will bear with me, it’s about a two minute video. And we’ll run that and I will hit play. There we go.

So, what we’re seeing here is, again, an aircraft taxiing into a CDF. And although you can’t hear, there is very minimal communication between the flight deck and the dispatcher as everything is done through visuals. So you can see the advancements in assigning an aircraft to the bay. The pilot is taxiing in, is being advised to follow the greens. And so this is a view from a top at what he, what they’re seeing as they’re taxiing in. So you can see the message board displaying information to the pilot, he’s following the greens, going into a proper position. All the deicing vehicles that you can see are in the vehicle safety zones. It is delimited by the in-ground lights, which again, gives pilot confidence. He’s coming into the right position, won’t have any issues. The guidance system capturing the aircraft will bring it to a proper stop. And that point, all stakeholders are getting the information, brakes are set, aircraft is configured. There’s no communication or waiting. As soon as all the operators will have that information, the pilot will confirm his treatments. Trucks can then start to move into position. So again, time is money and the faster we get the information to all stakeholders, the better the decisions are in the process and the more efficient we are.

So, as you can see here, the pilot’s configuration, configure aircraft in progress, deicing. So all of this information is stemmed from the one system that is providing the pilot information. As you can see, trucks are not moving into position. It is safe. They have a pattern they move into, there’s no equipment around. There’s less risk of aircraft damage, and more efficient.

So, you can see, deicing is occurring. Once deicing is complete, you’ve got an overview. So you’ve got your stop bar that has been illuminated, and that and the message boards displaying a “stopK” acts as a permanent hold for the pilot until all trucks are safely back in their safety zone and prevent any incidents from occurring. So as you can see, deicing is finished. Now, the pilot will be given his numbers through the pilot app. The hold over time will be produced for him. And once that’s done, he’ll be given directive to exit the deicing bay. There we go, contact tab control. So there has been no, hardly any communication with the pilot and the deicing coordinator or trucks. Everything is visual in real-time, which provides for a more efficient operation. And with that, I will now turn it over to, I believe it’s Frank from CVA who will speak to you about the Chicago operations.

Frank Grimaldi:

Thank you very much, Mike. Good afternoon, everybody. And it’s an honor to be here with all of you to talk about our wonderful facility that we opened at the end of 2018. As you all know, it gets cold and snowy in O’Hare in Chicago, in the Midwest. And we are always ready to keep the operations at O’Hare, and Midway also, running as smoothly and passably as we can in winter conditions. As we all know, IT runways and taxiways are logistical challenges. And since we opened a CDF, our supporters, supports our airline partners, by providing them a dedicated space to deice aircraft and from terminal gates. Of course, this improves access to gates and accrues increases operational efficiency during cold weather months.

As you see here, the CDF was built to streamline operations and maintain safety for passengers and our employees. And of course, reduce winter delays at one of the nation’s busiest airports. If you’re looking at the map that we have, you see where it’s placed and where we built it. You see the core, and we have, we placed it on the West side of the airport, between the North airfield and the South airfield. As most of you know, on the North airfield, we have three East West runways that are nines, and a cross, which is 22. And of course the South, we have three on the South that are 10s and 22. And just to get back, we will have at the end of 21 full nine right which is closed now. And we’re working in that area right now to connect and move 3000 feet and the rest of the runway. Next slide please.

There we go. Background on the CFC. We started conceptual design and planning on this in 2013. And we started construction in April 2017. So what we took advantage of is an area to the West. And we looked at the area and we wanted to place it exactly where it would help our partners. So a quick background, we started in 13 and construction started in 17. There were three major packages. We didn’t want to put it all on the one package. It would be very difficult to procure it that way. So what we did is we dispersed earthwork. They came in and did the earthwork, took them about 12 months to do that. Came back with the second package was with paving and utilities. Completed that, and then of course the ramp tower, which we built, and then the airlines came in and put their systems in frequencies and so forth. And of course the technology.

The project for all four of those spaces, phases were about $168 million, but we opened it at the end of 2018. But the tower, even though it was completed on the day we opened it, the airlines still, they did not have their systems in to operate it the way we wanted them to, of course. We did do some icing on it during that first winter. But then as the winter ended in 2019, the airlines filled up there, or they went in the tower, put their systems in. They had a couple of months to train and to get the systems working, and in 2019, the snow season, it was ready to go.

Just to give you a couple of facts on it. Our crews laid more than 3.5 million square feet of concrete for the CFC and the new taxiways that connect the rest of the airfield. The design and the construction phases of the project created an estimate of 800 jobs. Okay, and all CDA projects, this was no local taxpayer money. If you look at the facility, if you look at the facility, it’s almost 900,000 square feet, about 17 football fields wide and long. It is a single pad. And the way it works, hopefully my partners from city operations and the United Airlines are on it. I know they were getting their snow program ready. But what I’m going to do now, and we could have 20 narrow body aircraft, or five wide body aircraft at one time. Each wide body craft accommodates four narrow body airplanes. So that’s the pad itself. I’m going to turn it over to Matt McLean, who is the project manager for the ramp tower.

Matt McLean:

How’s it going everybody. Just some quick facts on the ramp tower, like Frank said, 2018 was a big year for us. We wanted to get this pad up and operational, but that actually, as we progressed with the technology on the pad, we had to get the design ready for the tower as well. So when we were progressing everything through the design process and through construction, if you’re familiar with city procurement, how tough that can be, we only had 227 days to actually build a tower. Instead of being stuck in the first winter months, we got a site prep package together for the foundations. The foundations are steel piles of concrete foundation perimeter walls. The tower itself is about $9 million total construction between the site prep and the building.

It’s four floors, prefabricated insulated wall panels. This gave us the ability to get the block, to get the building up quick. Insulated it, did all the interior finishes. The first three floors consist of break rooms, offices, three IT closets, which were really critical to making sure we were very flexible in our operation. The hardest thing about where we selected the site was that we did not have much IT infrastructure out on the West side of the airport. But getting the fiber optic lines out there, getting them into the building, getting American’s IT systems, United IT systems and the city’s IT systems all into the building were pretty critical at making sure we were able to use the pad in the first year.

So, inside the cab, which is the most important part, is eight interchangeable positions. Like I said, we can operate any one of those positions with either the United network, American’s network or our own city network. Some of the technology that’s out on the pad, that’s connected to the tower, all the, as you saw before, all the variable message boards, all the in slab lighting is all controlled from the cab and it can all be interchanged whenever we need to, for wide body or narrow-body operations. And I’ll kick it over to Keith, if he’s not covered in snow yet. Keith, are you on?

Keith Wisniewski:

Good afternoon, thank you. My name is Keith Wisniewski, I’m the general manager of airfield operations. My point is part 139 of the airfield compliance for FAA and all of our snow removal program. Right now, if you look at a radar, Chicago is just starting to get inundated with snow. We’re-

Now, if you look at a radar, Chicago is just starting to get inundated with snow. We’re looking at about two to three inches over the next eight hours. So we are at active event. So I got a few minutes before I got all my teams moving out on the field, but I got our staff working on that.

This graphic that is up right now I’d like to start out with discussing when developing your CDF and once you get to that stage of your development of it, and you got your air traffic control involved. The big thing is for us we start out the letter of agreement of how the CDF is going to be used.

You look at our graphic that’s up right now, in the summertime only the pad footprint itself, the pad itself, is a non-movement area. All those other crossing taxiways are active taxiways at FAA tower at O’Hare in the summer months. In the winter months, all those areas that are North-South and East-West within the pad, those become non-movement areas through our letter of agreement. That gives the ice control guys in the CDF tower to control their aircraft where ATC will get the aircraft down at a predesignated route to it with a turnover point at a taxiway intersection and then they would contact the CDF tower for guidance into the system. But the JCI system does help alleviate a lot of that now that it’s up and running, that they will get to the point and the lights turn on automatically to the aircraft, to their base.

So, the letter of agreement is a big point for me and FAA part one 39 compliance, including that our airport certification manual, also things to think about for your snowbelt airport, how heavy it snows are, your teams. You’ve got your priority one snow removal equipment for an airport, and you focus that on runways and to and from the Gates. Your CDF now needs to become a priority one operation for your snow equipment removal process, because that’ll be a key situation to get your snow removal to and from the CDF. If that’s not removed, you’re not getting the planes in and out efficiently as you need to.

So, it might have a factor on your particular airport and how much snow equipment you have available to maintain that. We also dedicate a small team with our contractors, private contractors under the direction of Chicago Aviation to push and pile all the snow in that big footprint that Mr. Grimaldi said that 900,000 square feet. And you see to the left side of the image in the middle, the asphalt area the yellow trucks, that’s our melting location. We’ll push all the snow from that footprint into that area, melted into our drains. So that becomes really efficient. So you’re not hauling snow and everything else. Consider that when you think about a central deicing facility, where are you going to put all this snow and how are you going to get rid of it during the events? We also have a contingent of a small broom team that will take care of those taxiways/taxi lanes around the CDF to keep that viable. And we’ve also found this season they help out on the routes to and from the terminals at times to keep us more efficient in supporting the CDF operation from the terminals.

It’s been very good for us. Traffic has been increased because again, getting the planes out the Gates, getting more planes into the Gates, non COVID 19 restrictions we would be at a higher volume and this is very, very, very helpful to keep that operation moving, but it does put a lot of pressure back onto your snow removal teams or the overall airport to keep those available because the airlines or carriers want to generate more flights in and out and we need as the airport operator more runways and taxiways cleared for them to get to and land to.

So again, a little pushback by there, but the stronger challenge for me and our teams to work at which we’re doing right now. I will leave it there. If there’s any questions, please have the organization get to me, but I do need to jump into our other operations over the next eight hours and make sure we could do as many operations today as we do every day. Again, thank you for having me and I don’t know who’s next I apologize

I think we have United and American, hopefully they’re on. I think Chris Pearson, Chris of United, are you on?

Gene Herrick:

Not sure if Chris is on, this is Gene Herrick with, yes.


So, you’re going to have to take her apart. The both of you guys. Okay. That’s all right. No worries. Just introducing Gene Herrick from American airlines, Gene it’s all yours.


Yep. Gene Herrick, American Airlines. I am the deicing manager here at Chicago. Harem happened to be currently at the CDF on the third floor, not in the cab, as Keith mentioned, we are inundated. Now we’re getting a pretty heavy snow out at CDF. So I’ll try and give a quick synopsis of how we fell into this and how this we’ve worked together with the other airlines and the city of Chicago and, and all the other groups that helped us out back in about 2017. I got involved 2016-2017.

We started meeting with all kinds of people that would be involved in this directly, whether it was the FAA or the CDA, snow removal with Keith, with all of the other airlines that were involved, it was American and United that kind of stepped up and said, listen we’ll run this thing together and we’ll, we’ll do the best we can to, to do it fair and equitable and it seems like now we’re looking three years back from the first aircraft that was deiced out here at the CDF. And that has come to fruition with the most technologically advanced CDF in the world. I can hang my hat on that. We have a great camera system that even in the conditions we’re in, right at the current moment, we can clearly see our trucks and the aircraft moving in and out of the bays.

As far as cooperation, we meet monthly and have a WebEx call, in COVID times now, to talk about any issues or problems. And I just think back to 2018 when we were deicing our first planes in January and February, and it’s been, just quite the change, quite the journey and quite the adventure. And I’d just give the advice to everyone out there, work together with your airline partners and your city and get advice from those that have pioneered this path. I reached out to a lot of people that I knew with SAE and just picked their brains and ask questions and we were able to cobble together a training program and some of it wasn’t quite right for once you get into the real world operations but you need to stay compliant to all the SAE FFA and all the other guidelines and best practices.


Thank you, Gene. I’m going to see if Chris is on from United. Chris? Chris is probably working. I’m looking out the window now and it’s snowing pretty good. So thank you, Gene. Thank you, Matt. One thing I do want to say, what Gene talked about, the relationship and the cooperation between the airlines, especially in United and American since we opened it has been outstanding. I mean, it really has. I was out there in the last snow storm and just the way the planes were coming in, sometimes they directed a United, sometimes Americans does, but it’s just amazing how they’re working together and it’s really a team effort. So Tony we’re completed. I’m going to turn it over to our friends at Memphis, gentlemen?

Brian Tenkhoff:

Hey, good afternoon, everybody. I’m Brian Tenkhoff with the Memphis Shelby County airport authority. I’m in the development department, manager of engineering construction.

Hopefully everybody can hear me okay. I’m going to go over a few slides I know we’re getting towards the end of this to talk on our current CDF project that’s underway, under construction, hit on a few of the background items with the projects and project elements and connect some of the dots for some of the previous discussions.

So, on the slide here, I’ve got an aerial of our airport for those of y’all not familiar. And I do have this rotated 90 degrees. So left is North right is South. We have three parallel North-South runways, one crosswind East, East-West crosswind. What you see in yellow, kind of in the middle, that’s our terminals, our passenger operations are all in that area. And then to the left of the screen or the North of our airfield is our FedEx express world hub. So all of our cargo operations, essentially all North of runway 927 are crosswind.

So, in this exhibit, I’m showing you our current deice operations. So the blocks you see in purple are where the cargo operations deice, what you see in yellow is the passenger operation. So you can see we’re kind of all over the airfield. A lot of at gate deicing, we utilize some taxiways, whole pads, and then the passengers are typically all at gate deicing and when we get bigger events, we do have a couple of spots just South of there that you can see on taxiway.

The red block that is our current deice location, new CDF location for reference and I guess really quick to hit on our existing operations really quick with us being spread out, we don’t have any centralized collection system. Everything is collected through sluice Gates. We have some diversion systems set up, a Glycol recovery vehicle. So essentially we collect what we can through those systems. They end up in a frac tank and then we have a couple of points on the airfield where that fluid ends up getting put into the sanitary system and ultimately treated at the city wastewater treatment plant.

So, one of the big drivers of this project because of that is our MPDS permit and working through our state agency, which is TDEC, that handles that as far as meeting certain limitations, percent of collection. So this project initially was to meet those requirements that we’re working through and with the new MPDS permit.

So again, back with the red block that I show on there, that is our footprint of our new CDF deicing pad you can see, we didn’t have a lot of real estate for it where this location worked out good. At least in Memphis, most of our winter weather is coming from the North. So we’re in a North flow. So we were able to position it also in a good location. So we are having those short holdover times, they’re going straight from pad to threshold and departures

Kind of a project scope layout of the CDF project. I’ll hit on some of these just real quick. So we have 12 deicing positions, 11 of them are group five. The Triple Seven aircraft is the design aircraft on this. The 12th pad is a Group VI, but it’s a composition pad or combination pad. So we can either serve as a Group VI aircraft 747-8 or we can actually get to a Group III aircraft.

So, what you’re seeing the blues, the deicing pads, what’s in green, we also had to construct some crossover taxiways yellow. We had some taxiway bridges tied to it. We had to relocate our road that runs down midfield of our airfield that connects to our public street and some operations. We have operation support facility, maintenance facility in the middle tank farm distribution system, underground stormwater tank. And I’ll hit on a couple of those here in just a minute.

System Diagrams was kind of the basis of the overall design to hit on a couple of those. So distribution system, the Glycol distribution system, if you’re looking at the top, the red and green and blue, we have a Type I, Type IV and a water supply that go through pumphouse out to the pads at each individual pad. We actually have blending stations for the Type I Glycol to mix that to the proper mixture based on the conditions that we’re at. So that’s for every one of those go to every one of our vehicles, safety zones. Collection system that we have, you kind of see the blue squares around the pads. We have a trench drain system. All of that water gets collected and the trench drain system goes into a large underground detention tank, 2.5 million, approximately 2.5 million gallons.

And from that point, the discharge is monitored to determine concentration of Glycol. And depending on that threshold that’s set it will either be sent to just regular stormwater or if it’s above that threshold, it’ll go into sanitary system through a series of a pump station force main, and then get treated at the city wastewater treatment.

Couple big components of the project airfield pavement wise, it’s 3.2 million square feet of airfield pavement and bulk of that is the deice pad with the balance being on those crossover taxiways. A typical pavement section, because of our critical aircraft we have a pretty stout pavement section, about three feet, the glycol stormwater collection system, 7,300 feet of trench drain. I mentioned the big 2.5 million gallon underground detention system. You have the pump station, lift station, and then the monitoring station to determine where we can send the, the Glycol. Distribution system we will have Type I, for Glycol, we have the Glycol and water supply system out to the pads themselves. We have load stations at each of the vehicle safety zones. I mentioned the blending cubes to be able to have more efficient usage of that Glycol to match exactly what the aircraft and or weather and temperature require. A centralized tank farm at pump house, and then a bunch of above and below ground piping for that distribution system.

VSCs were mentioned earlier in the presentation. So we actually have on the water end of the VSCs, we have the high mass lighting electronic message boards and those fill stations. We did go between a centralized filling station and actual localized in each, at each VSC because of the nature of the aircraft that get the ice tier. Most of them are wide body that require six plus trucks at a time. And to maintain the amount of deicing fluid that is used on each aircraft, to keep from one running out, they have to refill every 15 minutes regardless of the fluid level. So there’s quite a few filling operations in an event which equates to approximately 144 refill operations over three hour period with our cargo departure.

We were trying to accommodate enough trucks in case the truck went down. So we’ve got positions for seven trucks within those VSCs just in case one goes down and one’s getting filled we’re not disrupting the deicing operation.

We’re also going to utilize a lot of the deice pad technology through JCAI’s AIM system. So we’ll have the day management software, electronic mass message boards, thermal cameras, and then in pavement, IP addressable center line lights.

Operation maintenance facility deice pad tower. So you can see a conceptual layout at the bottom and then a rendering of that facility. So it’s going to house “Operation Muster” areas. We are going to have six days for maintenance on deice trucks, break room, restroom, utility room, and then the actual cab and tower portion of the facility to run the pads.

Quick background on some of the users and what drove size and type. Cargo fleet FedEx is obviously the big user at our airfield, 137 annual operations, primarily wide body aircraft. So of the 385 aircraft, 266 of those are wide body. 37 of those aircraft are the Group V Triple Seven with a lot of operations and those are continuing to grow. Our passenger fleet, those operation numbers are pre COVID, but 50,000 annual operations with the primary design aircraft for them being a Group III 737, A319, 323, 321. So the cargo fleet and the demand is what drove the design of this pad. Obviously we do have potential to get Group VI aircraft. We are a destination airport for A380 and then there are some additional users that potentially could use 747-8 at our airport.

“Flight Schedule”. This was a big one. This is where we’re kind of unique in some instances. We have a three hour launch, essentially two times a day for the cargo operation where they get all of their aircraft out in that three hour period. During peak season, which obviously coincides with winter season as well, October -December, we get about 180 departures in a three hour period, overnight as well.

We had a few operational considerations. I mentioned a three hour standard cargo launch break. We identified that we wanted to try to get that completed within five hours and try to minimize passenger operations off the gate delay no more than 60 minutes. Our consultants used a series of models that produced different weather events by occupancy times to ultimately determine the number of pads, which we landed on 12 to try to meet those conditions. Essentially in the light snow frosting situations, we have no reduction. We meet all those goals. When we start getting to heavy snow, ice and freezing rain, it does turn into either a longer launch or some reduced capacity of the cargo fleet.

“Ground”. So that that aerial you’re seeing is about a month old. So mid-January, I think is when it was taken. So we’re making a lot of progress. We had this project split within three phases, three construction phases, phase one was bridges and roadways. So this got our connector taxiway bridges in, a service road bridge, and then relocated Lewis Caruthers, which is the road that comes up through the middle of our airfield. Phase two, which is currently ongoing, back up, phase one started in 2018, was completed just this past year. Phase two is the large portion of the site work drainage pads, marking lighting. The bulk of the project that started May of 2020. It is anticipated to be completed August of 2022. And then phase three, which is operation maintenance building it’s currently under design and we are anticipating completion of that project along with phase two, to have everything ready for a 2022- 2023 winter deice season. So with that, Tony, I can turn it back to you.

Tony Esposito:

Thank you, Brian. So with that, we’re going to turn over to QA and because we’re over on time, we’re going to make this very brief. We did receive, as I mentioned earlier, almost 200 questions. So we’re going to take a look at those questions and respond to those and get back to everybody at a later date. We’re going to work with ACC to get those questions and answers out to everybody, but we’re going to take a look at two quick questions.

First, “How do you accommodate other uses of the facility when not in winter operations?”

So the deicing facility has a lot of pavement and it can be used for more than just deicing as some of the airports that we’ve worked with in the past have used the deice pad for remain overnight operations for some of the airlines that cannot park at the terminal gates. As well as in some instances during periods of inclement weather, the deice pad if it is on part of the movement area can also be used as a holding path for aircraft.

Also interesting to note as the summer turns to fall, a lot of the airports and airlines need to start practicing their deicing for the following winter so they will turn to the deice pad and actually use it for practicing of the deicing of aircraft so they’re already built for the following winter season.

Question number two, we’re going to answer today, “Who pays for these systems?”

Nate Lemon:

Thanks, Tony. Funding sources for CDFs can be a very complicated answer. I am going to bring in my partner from Memphis, Brian Tenkhoff, to help on this one but essentially there are elements of the CDF that are AIP eligible, airfield pavement being one. There are elements that are non-eligible, some of the proprietary technology, some of the facilities outside of the airfield, potentially such as control towers, Glycol supplies, SWORD systems, certain elements of it. Brian, maybe you can expand on this a little bit.

Brian Tenkhoff:

Yeah, I can speak on it briefly and you kind of hit some of the high points. In our project specifically, we are seeking AIP reimbursement, where we can. Essentially, Glycol distribution, all the technology, our control facility in the middle there, those primary components are being non AIP eligible. So our project, we actually had two bid schedules bid schedule one was eligible items, bid scheduled two was non-eligible to be able to show those costs separately, track those costs separately, to make sure we weren’t mixing eligible and ineligible components.

The one caveat with the Glycol distribution system is the pipe that’s actually in pavement. The pavement is eligible. The pipe, the Glycol pipe that actually goes in pavement was also deemed eligible as part of that. So there is a little caveat to the Glycol distribution system but in general, especially with our project, the Glycol distribution technology, the blending cubes, the message boards, all of that was on the non-eligible portion that is just getting funding locally with local funds and the.

Tony Esposito:

Alright thank you, Brian and Nate, and thank you everybody today. With that I’m going to turn it back over to Micah for some closing remarks.


Thank you, Tony. On behalf of ACC, I would like to extend a great big thank you to Kimley-Horn, JCAII, Gretchen Smith and their partners for putting together today’s program. I do encourage you to check out some of our other webinar offerings for professional development on the training hub website. And again, just thank you everybody for participating in today’s webinar.


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About the Experts

Tony Esposito, P.E.

Tony Esposito, P.E.

Tony has more than 14 years of aviation airside and landside design, construction management, construction observation, estimating, scheduling, specifications, phasing, and sustainability experience. He specializes in taxiway design, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and extensions; new cargo, terminal and remain overnight aprons; rehabilitation and reconstruction of aprons; new runways; and design of runway rehabilitation, reconstructions, and extensions. Tony has worked closely with Airport, FAA, and airline staff to develop phasing plans that minimize impacts to airfield operations and maintain the safest working conditions for construction personnel and airport users. His experience includes small, medium, and large hub airports both domestic and international.

Nate Lemon, P.E.

Nate Lemon, P.E.

Nate specializes in airport design, rehabilitating and reconstructing airport facilities, and construction administration of airfield and airport-specific projects. This includes civil construction experience in the proper application of methods and practices for both horizontal and vertical construction. He is accomplished at leading teams of discipline engineers, analysts, and inspectors in the design and construction of airport facilities. Specifically, this includes the coordination of large, complex, phased projects involving the rehabilitation and/or reconstruction of pavement surfaces on active airfields. Nathan is well versed with FAA Advisory Circulars as they pertain to both design and construction of airfield systems and infrastructure.


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