At Prague Airport, Czech Airlines provides de-icing to most aircraft in winter. Czech Airlines provides the spraying of the wings and the fuselage, which prevents the occurrence of frost during the flight, and not only to its own aircraft, but also offers it to other carriers. At Prague Airport, Czech Airlines accounts for about 70 percent of de-icing.
The de-icing spraying before take off is applied once the temperature starts approaching zero, and when there is a risk of frost that could have an adverse impact on the flight properties of the aircraft. This year, the first aircraft de-icing spraying was requested by crews in October. The de-icing season officially starts in mid October and ends in mid April, and the de-icing vehicles are prepared for continuous action between December and March. Over that period, Czech Airlines annually de-ices some 2,000 aircraft, depending on the weather.
The usual consumption of de-icing fluid for one Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 ranges around 100 litres. If a greater layer of wet or frozen snow needs to be removed, the consumption per aircraft can reach 600 litres. At Prague Airport, there are special parking places designed for aircraft de-icing that provide for the drainage of waste water and chemicals to a waste water treatment station.
For de-icing, Czech Airlines uses de-icing vehicles that use two types of de-icing fluid and hot water. The first fluid is mixed with water at the appropriate ratio and then, at a temperature of at least 60°C, the aircraft surface is sprayed with the solution. It dissolves all the ice and removes snow from the aircraft surface. The important thing is that the aircraft does not freeze over again during take-off, when it needs all of its energy for the flight and cannot therefore employ its own de-icing equipment, such as the heating of wing edges, etc. Therefore, the preventive spraying with another special fluid comes immediately after the first de-icing solution, which will cling to the aircraft and does not allow water to freeze to the body of the aircraft again.
The preventive spraying is effective for tens of minutes, which is why the entire de-icing process is carried out before the start, i.e., after passengers board, and the aircraft is waiting before entering the take-off and landing runway. The spraying is applied by special vehicles, of which Czech Airlines owns six.