With the Northern Hemisphere heading into winter, it is important to re-visit the topic of De-Icing when it comes to chartering an aircraft. When aircraft are parked outdoors in low temperatures, even for a short period of time, ice and snow can build up on the aircraft's wings and other control surfaces. Any build up can affect the aircraft's aerodynamic performance, limiting lift and by also changing the centre of gravity. It is therefore a regular occurance at departure airports in the winter months (generally between November and March) that an aircraft will require de-icing after taxiing but before take off. The aircraft will generally taxi to a De-Icing Bay where de-icing fluid, a mixture of a chemical called glycol and water, is generally heated and sprayed under pressure to remove ice and snow on the aircraft. This mixture will be sprayed on the wings, tail as well as the nose cone where the radar is located. Why is this important to know? It is vital that passengers and charterers are aware of the possibility of a need to de-ice aircraft before departure. This is generally not included in the charter price and will be billed seperately to the client upon completion of the service. As de-icing is totally dependent upon the local conditions on the day of the flight, this charge is rarely, if ever, included in the price. How much will it cost? It stands to reason that costs are totally dependent upon size of aircraft and amount of de-icing fluid required. A small 4 seater Citation Mustang can cost around £1500 to de-ice whereas a larger Gulfstream anywhere around £10 000.
How can I reduce cost? Certain operators permit the purchase of a De-Icing Insurance when you confirm your charter. Alternatively, if you travel later in the day or early afternoon, this may reduce the requirement for De-Icing.
Who makes the decision regarding De-Icing?
The decision for de-icing is made entirely by the flight crew and their decision is non-negotiable. Remember, they only have your safety and that of the aircraft at crew in mind.
When will I have to pay?
Your Flitestar Charter Team Representative will contact you after the flight to process payment for de-icing. We charge this at cost.