Chapter 14 - Facilities

14.1 Contracted Services

The Air Operator's ground icing operations program, when required by Canadian Aviation Regulation, must be approved by Transport Canada. This approval is a requirement irrespective of which ground deicing and anti-icing service provider is involved. That is, whether the Air Operator contracts out the service or whether the Air Operator employs their own personnel to provide the service, the Air Operator's approved ground icing program must be followed.

The significance of this approval is that Transport Canada approves an Air Operators ground icing program, and the Air Operator is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the program is followed irrespective of whom they contract for elements of the program.

Except for CDF's, Transport Canada generally does not specifically approve those organizations that provide a deicing and anti-icing service. The Air Operator is responsible for ensuring that the service provider is conducting deicing operations in a safe manner and in accordance with the Air Operators approved program. Transport Canada may, however, from time to time audit these operations to ensure that the Air Operators approved program is being followed.

14.2 Central Deicing Facilities (CDFs)

14.2.1 General Background

The typical size and complexity of the CDFs operating in Canada, and the potential impact of the provision of inadequate service to Canadian Air Operators, resulted in the Director of Commercial and Business Aviation, Transport Canada determining that a formal operational approval process needed to be established and followed.

The Director of Commercial and Business Aviation Branch, AARX, at Transport Canada, issues a letter to the CDF upon successful completion of an operational evaluation process. Typically the first year after approval is a probationary year and if successful the CDF will receive a full approval after a successful first year. Transport Canada will audit the operation on a regular basis.

Central Deicing Facilities are becoming more commonplace. Typically such facilities result in all deicing and anti-icing activities occurring at a single location at an airport.

The privatization of airports in Canada normally results in the CDF facility being owned by the Airport Authority but the deicing and anti-icing service being provided by an agency that has been contracted to the Airport Authority.

National environmental policies, programs, and concerns together with regulations and guidelines for runoff of glycol based fluids have been largely responsible for the heightened concern regarding activities that occur at Canada's airports and the possible impact that these activities may have upon the environment.

Large airports, in particular, dispense large quantities of deicing and anti-icing fluids during a typical winter icing operations season. The fluids are complex chemicals, which may have an adverse affect upon the environment surrounding the airport and on ground water quality. A mitigation plan for glycol use at airports has become part of the modern day airport management strategy. Provision for the collection of spent glycol, in the area of the deicing activity has become a requirement. See Chapter13, Environment for further details.


The Transport Canada design requirements for the CDFs are captured by document TP312. This document, in general, identifies the appropriate dimensions, markings, construction and other facility requirements. This document should be referenced for these details. Transport Canada's Aerodrome Safety Branch, in Ottawa, should be contacted to discuss the approval process for the CDF facilities and infrastructure.

The approval of the CDF facility, as a part of an Airport's infrastructure, must follow the process that is currently used for the approval of other airport facilities. CDF DEICING AND ANTI-ICING SERVICE APPROVAL

  1. Regulations

    There currently are no Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) that specifically address the requirements for operational approval of the services provided at CDFs.
  2. Transport Canada Approval of CDF Deicing and Anti-icing Operations

    The details of the Transport Canada approval process for CDF Operations will be contained in a TP guidance document, which has yet to be published.

    Contact Transport Canada, Commercial and Business Aviation, Operational Standards at: (1)E-mail:; or (2)phone: 613-990-1065; for further information or assistance with the CDF operational approval process.

14.2.3 Incorporation of a CDF Program into the Air Operator's Approved Program

The CDF operation, when Transport Canada approved, has all of the necessary elements to provide an acceptable deicing and anti-icing service.

In the case of Transport Canada approval of a CDF deicing operation, it is understood that the service being provided by the CDF does meet the intent of the CARs and therefore should fulfill the requirements of an Air Operators approved ground icing program.

The Air Operator should, nonetheless, endeavour to ensure that the CDF is supplying an acceptable service, which meets the intent of their approved ground icing program.

There is no requirement for the entire approved ground icing program document to be carried by the pilot. The approved document should, however, contain a user friendly appendix which may be extracted by the Pilot-in-Command to provide the necessary information for safe CDF operations & communications.

A document with basic communication instructions, other CDF operating details, and maneuvering information, should be provided to the Pilot-in-Command for his reference in the cockpit. This should reduce the chance of error at the CDF and enhance safety.

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