Just like a car in winter, a private jet left outside will be exposed to the weather and will become covered in ice and snow. So you will need a Private jet De-icing.
Unlike a car, it is a legal requirement to remove all ice and snow from an aircraft before it takes off (see why must a private jet be de-iced).
The term ‘de-icing’ refers to the removal of snow and ice that can build up on an aircraft in cold conditions. At AirCharter.com, we understand that the subsequent delay and cost caused by this process are frustrating. However, above all, passenger security is the priority and private jet de-icing is crucial to ensuring a safe flight. This guide will explain why a private jet de-icing is essential, the different options available and how much it costs, as well as providing a few tips to reduce or avoid private jet de-icing fees.
As it cannot be predicted if and how much de-icing fluid is required prior to a flight, the aircraft charterer is liable after the flight for the cost of any ground de-icing required. This is industry standard practice and set out in Air Charter’s Standard Charter Terms which does not include de-icing and is normally paid for after your trip is completed.
Private Jet De-icing charges are usually invoiced at cost price after the flight is completed.
- The only extra cost not included in your Air Charter contract is ground private jet de-icing charges (invoiced to you at cost).
- Actual private jet de-icing costs vary depending on the amount of fluid required. The average de-icing cost for a small jet is $1,300 per application. De-icing larger aircraft can cost over $13,000.
- The Ai Charter private jet De-Icing Waiver is calculated according to the risk of de-icing and is based on a percentage of the predicted cost. For example, on a small jet the waiver is often just $220 per flight.
If de-icing is then required, we will contact you to arrange payment of the cost price.
Just like de-icing a car window or , de-icing fluid is sprayed onto a private jet. This fluid has either (or both) de-icing or anti-icing properties.
At an airport, de-icing fluid is sprayed onto the private jet by a specially designed vehicle called a de-icing rig. Often a first time private jet customer can be alarmed at the amount of fluid sprayed onto the airframe, it is similar to a fireman’s hose!
The private jet de-icing fluid is often applied at a high temperature and is normally orange in colour. This helps to indicate where the fluid has been applied.
Private jet customers are often asked to be on-board during the de-icing process. This allows a quick take off after their private jet de-icing.
How much does it cost to de-ice a private jet?
De-icing fluid is expensive. Each airport will have a cost per gallon for de-icing fluid and often there is only one supplier a private jet can use. The average amount of de-icing fluid and cost for a private jet are:
|Type||Fluid Quantity||Gallon Price||Total Cost|
|Long Range Jet||500||$24||$3250|
The charterer of the private jet is liable for the cost of de-icing a private jet. The cost of your private jet de-icing is not included in the price to charter a private jet. If de-icing is required, the charterer will be invoiced at cost price after the flight.
Private jet pilots can avoid de-icing by arranging for their aircraft to be kept in a hangar. However at some airports the cost of overnight hangarage can be more expensive than a private jet de-icing. Many private jet airports do not have hangar space available and so the aircraft will be exposed to the weather prior to your private jet flight.
A private jet can also be de-iced by using a heated hangar for a shorter period of time before departure. This less expensive option can reduce the cost of your private jet de-icing required or prevent it being required. Often placing an aircraft that requires de-icing in a heated hangar for 1 hour, will melt the ice on the airframe completely.
At some private jet airports, passengers can board their private jet inside the hangar before it is towed outside. In winter periods this is a favorite customer service tip used by Air Charter for our members.
- Ask your private jet supplier the night before your flight if a private jet de-icing is expected to be required. This will encourage them to avoid a private jet de-icing if possible. See how to avoid paying de-icing costs.
- Use a hangar to keep your private jet protected from the weather. A heated hangar can also be used to melt any ice that has formed.
- Encourage your crew to remove layers of snow with a brush from the wings before the aircraft is de-iced. This will reduce the amount of de-icing fluid required. This manual procedure is only possible on small aircraft. On large private jets it is not safe to remove snow from the wings.
- Keep your private jet crew informed of when you will be arriving at the FBO (private jet terminal) This will allow the private jet de-icing to be timed just before your arrival and prevent it being required twice.
- Ask to be on-board your private jet when it is de-iced. This will allow your aircraft to depart immediately after the anti-icing fluid is applied. A further private jet de-ice may be required if your departure is delayed.
- Never argue against a private jet de-ice. Your private jet Captain is making a safety decision and should not be influenced by financial or time considerations.
- Ask your crew how much de-icing fluid is expected to be used before the de-ice starts. This will encourage the crew to remove excess snow from the airframe with a brush to reduce the amount of fluid required. In larger aircraft this will not be possible.
- If you have a choice of airports, ask for the price of a private jet de-icing fluid at each FBO (Private Jet Terminal). Depart from the private jet airport that offers the lowest price of de-icing fluid. Often the de-ice is more expensive than the landing and handling fees.
- If possible avoid flying very early in the morning. Often the sun will melt any thin layers of ice on a private aircraft.
Why must a private jet be de-iced?
It is a legal requirement for all ice and snow to be removed from an aircraft before it departs from an airport.
The wings and rear tail components of an aircraft are designed and engineered with an extremely specific shape in order to optimize lift, performance and control. When snow and ice build up on parts of the airframe, they greatly alter the way in which air flows past it, disturbing its aerodynamics. The lift performance can consequently be diminished, reducing the stability and control of the aircraft in flight. Therefore, for the safety of those on board, private jet de-icing is absolutely mandatory so that all snow and ice is removed before take off.
- Snow and ice on a wing reduce its lift performance. Even the thinnest layer of frost affects how an aircraft flies.
- Snow and ice are heavy. The extra weight of snow and ice on a private jet will reduce its flight performance.
- The controls of a private jet (ailerons, elevators and rudders) can be blocked by ice and full movement may not be possible
What is the fluid used to de-ice a private jet?
A private jet is sprayed with a heated fluid that has two purposes:
- To de-ice, melt and remove existing snow and ice from the airframe.
- To form a protective layer that stops new ice forming, for a period known as the ‘hold over time’.
Do all airports have de-icing fluid available?
In 2010 (a particularly cold winter in the UK) Heathrow ran out of de-icing fluid. Some smaller airfields may not have de-icing fluids. At larger airports, and especially at peak airline departure times, there may be a long delay before your aircraft is de-iced.
Which countries are excellent at de-icing private jets?
German and Scandinavian airports are experts in de-icing procedures for private jets.
What does de-icing fluid smell like?
A private jet customer should never come into contact with de-icing fluid. It is a dangerous chemical that can cause skin irritations and other medical problems. It does however smell of almonds…