Glycol Recovery in the Golden Horseshoe

Air Canada Airlines leads the way in aircraft deicing fluid (ADF) managment in North America, reports Karen Reinhardt.

Section 53 of CEPA states: “The responsible federal department should ensure that the discharge of glycols into surface water resulting from aircraft deicing and anti-icing activities at a federal airport does not exceed a concentration of 100 mg/L.” Sub Section 36 of the Fisheries Act states, No person shall deposit or permit the deposit of a deleterious substance of any type in water frequented by fish. According to Johnstone, that means no glycol.

CEPA guidelines are criminally enforceable under the Fisheries Act. The legislation is strong enough that the carriers and deicing service providers that make up the Canadian airline industry work to ensure strong environmental programs are in place.

“We have an amazing record of meeting the guidelines set out in the environmental legislation, but the GlycolPro™ and using less ADF helps us take our corporate stewardship goals one step further.”


Blending to temperature has been used in Scandinavia for years. Overall, carriers see about 20 percent savings in fluid costs in a season. At that rate the equipment investment is generally recovered in a very short time. And between the cost of shipping and the blending to temperature, Air Canada saves $350,000 each season.

In the future, they hope to come “full circle” in Canada with the recovery process, where they not only recover the ADF but polish it and put it back on the aircraft.

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