Every year, APS Aviation Inc. tests new de/anti-icing fluids in a wide range of environmental conditions to determine their effectiveness. This research forms the basis of the guidance to be published in the yearly issue of the Holdover Times Guidelines, which will be used by pilots around the globe to conduct safe winter aviation operations.
As part of the fluid qualification process, the APS team evaluates the endurance time performance for each fluid in simulated freezing precipitation conditions in the Climatic Engineering Facility, located in Ottawa, Canada. This facility can produce a range of precipitation types for testing, including freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and freezing fog.
APS works closely with stakeholders, including aviation authorities, fluid manufacturers, airframe manufacturers, deicing operators and airports, to refine testing processes in order to ensure the continued accuracy and reliability of the research.
The APS team was reminded of the importance of this research in the first week of April when Montreal and the surrounding areas were pounded by freezing rain. This caused significant impacts on travel and transport infrastructure. The data collected by APS provided the necessary information to allow aircraft operations to continue as long as possible in freezing rain conditions and minimize the impacts of the severe weather experienced in the region.
About APS Aviation and flight safety
APS Aviation is a RHEA Group company based in Montreal. Each winter, it tests new deicing and anti-icing fluids that have been developed to tackle the build-up of snow, slush or ice on planes, to ensure the safety of flight crews and passengers.
Testing is carried out by APS’s experienced team in multiple simulation facilities as well as in real storm conditions across Canada, and takes into account the differing effects caused by the various possible combinations of weather types and temperatures. This research is important to industry because even a thin layer of ice or frost similar to sandpaper can reduce wing lift, increase drag and result in potentially serious aerodynamic effects on take-off.