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Great Lakes Airlines consistently using IR de-icing system at RHI

U.S. regional carrier Great Lakes Airlines has demonstrated that the use of de-icing system rather than the traditional glycol has successfully proved to be a quicker and more environment friendly option. The airline has been consistently using the IR de-icing system at Wisconsin’s Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport (RHI).

Joseph Brauer, Director of Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport, said that Great Lakes Airlines had consistently used the IR de-icing system at the RHI airport and reported that its glycol usage was significantly down by 60 percent. Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport is a small airport in northern Wisconsin that handles small general aviation, corporate and 19 to 50 seat commuter aircrafts.

Apart from Wisconsin’s Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport, the RI de-icing system is also being used at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Aircrafts usually departing from the two airports require de-icing can being rolled into an open-ended hangar where targeted infrared waves remove frost, snow and ice with a minimum of glycol usage, thus increasing the aircrafts’ throughput and decreasing de-icing time and cost.
Brauer said that these systems are though not new. But, growing environmental concerns and airline cost-cutting measures could generate new interest in IR de-icing technology.

David Speirs, President and CEO of Niagara Falls, N.Y.-based Radiant Aviation Services, which markets the IR de-icing technology, said that IR de-icing systems can effectively reduce glycol usage by up to 90 percent. Explaining about this system, he said that IR waves are generated that are tuned to the absorption rate of ice. The waves do not heat the air, just the frost or snow, and they penetrate only about two microns into the aircraft skin.