Airport Bratislava winter maintenance ensures no cancellation of flights!
14. 12. 2012 - Safety of all passengers and smooth flight operation are the main priorities in air transport all over the world. Specialists on winter maintenance at Bratislava Airport are looking after the airport runway system, including the apron area, while other airport representatives are responsible for the aircrafts de-icing especially during heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures. Thanks to the special airport winter mechanism and to extra trained employees, Airport Bratislava stays open without suffering any cancellations even in time of extreme winter conditions.
Airport Bratislava guarantees safety of all passengers and flights also during freezing weather especially within heavy snowfall. Airport has sufficient amount of de-icing liquid if necessary for airliners´ fleets and special winter maintenance technique, which is used particularly during snowy weather for keeping all runways, taxiways, aircraft stands and whole apron area covering approximately 832 445 m2 clear of ice and snow.
Selected airport employees regularly attend adequate trainings intended on increasing their specialization and professionalism in field of airport area winter maintenance and aircraft de-icing. The point is to provide high quality services and quick emergency reaction with a priority of smooth and safe operation.
Airport runway system maintenance
There is an extra winter maintenance engineer on the apron, who is responsible for safety, high quality and punctual intervening cause. He strictly leads all technicians’ activities and decides on using appropriate technology of area cleaning and de-icing regarding to current weather conditions, its prediction and flight schedule. To avoid a possible damage of ground lighting and radio-navigation devices the head of the winter maintenance has to apply exact procedures of sweeping, snow ploughing and blowing sensitively and with right technique set-up.
Active and professional communication between Bratislava Airport and air traffic control tower must be a part of cleaning and de-icing processes. Airport dispatch center regularly measures runways surface friction and according to the international air traffic directions define operability of the airport. After all, it gives detail information about runways condition to all flight crews.
Ice changes aerodynamic features of an aircraft
The surface of airplanes must be completely clean before departure to ensure the highest level of passenger safety during flight. As already mentioned, de-icing fluid can melt any forms of ice on the airplane. Certain parts of aircraft demand for an extra care. That´s the reason why remaining snow inhered in aircraft motors is removed with help of heated air flow. Brakes and whole landing gear are protected against creating ice layers on them by spraying heated fluid.
If the temperature drops below 3°C in combination with increased level of air humidity, special trained representatives of the airport start the aircraft de-icing procedure always on the captain request as soft rime, freezing fog and freezing rain can make the aircraft hundreds kilograms heavier by changing its aerodynamic features.
The first – de-icing stage process includes spraying diluted fluid with heated water on the aircraft surface with the aim of ice and snow cleaning. Anti-icing procedure requires spraying an aircraft with anti-icing liquid, which provides maximum hold-over protection against creating new layers of ice. In both steps is the substance applied by using exceptional mechanism.
Winter Maintenance Photographs of Bratislava Airport: