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Calgary International Airport East Deicing Apron

This project reduces plane taxi times from 40 to 17 minutes, improves passenger experience, and reinforces YYC’s environmental stewardship

  • 11HA

    Apron Size

  • 259

    Tons Total Carbon Reduction

  • Calgary, Alberta

    Calgary, Alberta

Faster take-offs and better for the environment

How do you improve deicing wait times for airplanes and be more environmentally sustainable at the same time? In the fall of 2018, WestJet and Air Canada asked the Calgary Airport Authority (YYC) for a centralized aircraft deicing facility, or deicing apron, to speed up wait times. With growing air traffic demands and larger airplanes, deicing could take up to 40 minutes at the gates—at-gate deicing couldn’t keep the busiest airport in Alberta running efficiently.

Our team worked closely with YYC on designing a solution. An 11 hectare deicing apron, including the critical diversion structure, diverts and contains deicing glycol runoff for treatment and recycling. At 12 meters long and 12 meters wide, the 10-meter-deep diversion structure is similar to an underground three-story-tall building. This sustainable project reduces carbon by over 259 tons, equivalent to 138 hectares of forest absorbing carbon dioxide over the course of one year.

The East Deicing Apron reinforces YCC’s environmental stewardship: recycling glycol runoff for reuse on deicing planes makes the airport self-sufficient and removes the burden on Calgary’s wastewater treatment plants. And with deicing wait times reduced from 40 to 17 minutes, passengers can get to where they’re going faster.

At a Glance

  • Calgary Airport Authority
Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards (CCE) - Award of Excellence, 2022
Consulting Engineers of Alberta - Sustainable Design, Award of Merit, 2022
Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards (CCE) - Schreyer Award, 2022

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