Is it time to consolidate your fluid storage?

At most global airports, each deicing service provider or air carrier performing self-deicing activities maintains its own fluid storage. This results in an abundance of drums, totes and tanks scattered over various locations around the airport, often with little or no environmental control systems in place. We’ve all seen it before many times.

At many high-volume airports impacted by winter weather, the airport and local stakeholders have implemented a consolidated or centralized aircraft ground de/anti-icing approach at the airport, as a means to better control operational efficiency, economic costs, coordination, aircraft launch capability and environmental performance. This usually includes the consolidation of the fluid storage and supply as well.

But what if your airport hasn’t moved to centralized deicing. Is there still a reason to consolidate the fluid storage and supply? The quick answer, without trying to squeeze all airports into the same box, is yes.

Consolidating the fluid supply and fluid infrastructure at an airport can have numerous benefits:

  • Implementation of a standardized fluid strategy at the airport with common fluids;
  • Implementation of deicing fluid optimization approaches, such as fluid blending to reduce concentrations of glycol or in-tank manufacturing of fluids;
  • Volume discount for purchasing fluid;
  • Assigned single-point responsibility for de/anti-icing fluid quality control;
  • Assigned responsibility for inventory control and purchasing;
  • Elimination of unnecessary and redundant fluid storage infrastructure; and
  • Improved environmental controls, amongst many other benefits.

There are many ways to implement a consolidated fluid storage but the most natural path of investment resides with the airport. Airports regularly invest in high-price capital infrastructure projects employing best-in-class optimization technologies, something that is relatively rare for most service providers on short-term, price-per-litre contracts or the airlines, who are increasingly eager to divest themselves of deicing around the globe. And as for the management and operation of the fluid supply from the consolidated storage, that can be achieved in various ways.

Most importantly for many stakeholders, the implementation of a consolidated fluid supply does not mean that the current deicing service providers at an airport need to change their business models. The consolidation simply results in a lower-cost, single point for the fluid supply.

More and more consolidated storage facilities pop up every year at global airports and the reasons for moving in this direction are numerous. If you’re interested in examining consolidated fluid storage and supply, give us a call.