Turnkey Solution for London Luton’s De-Icing Facility

Airports are driven to provide a better travel experience to passengers from the arrival at the airport to the departure of an aircraft. This covers a wide range of facilities within the airport infrastructure and the challenge can be daunting. Having committed to achieve a smooth throughput for all passenger, the one condition the airport is unable to control is the weather. On a bright sunny day, and even in poor visibility or wet conditions, an aircraft can still navigate from the gate to the threshold ready for departure. But when snow is falling, and ice begins to form on aircraft, then it is necessary to provide a de-icing facility, in order for the aircraft to depart safely.

At London Luton airport the decision to provide the largest de-icing facility for aircraft with engines running was taken. This meant an investment not only in the equipment to complete the task, but an appropriate centralised area to be used for this type of operation.  New aircraft standing position, along with a taxiing system, to be know as Foxtrot taxiway, was required to be constructed, complete with the installation of airfield lighting equipment along with all the necessary ancillaries.

ATG airports’ in-house turnkey solutions team were involved at the onset of the design phase to help the airports engineering team, and consultants to develop and design the AGL requirements for the project. On completion of the design phase, the team, co-operating with the main contractor, was able to install the necessary AGL lighting requirement which included, taxiway centreline lighting, taxiway signage, and blue edge lighting, all of which were using LED technology for the light source.

As the taxiway infrastructure has been expanded, it was a necessity to upgrade the AGL control system to allow the air traffic controllers to route aircraft to the new facility when required. This phase was implemented during night time operations when the airport had limited movements, tested and handed over to ATC before the morning rush.

This new facility will now enable the airport to be de-iced aircraft more quickly and efficiently, assisting with an improved on-time departure success rate during inclement weather.


Luton, United Kingdom
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