Last week, southern Italy was hit by sudden and unusual snow showers as extreme weather conditions hit several European countries in the Mediterranean. Brindisi Airport was also hit by these snow showers, hence on 4 January, a Ryanair Boeing 737 had to be cleared of snow and ice. A video (and the comments on social media) on the non-conventional – but effective – way of de-icing forced the airport to issue a detailed press release.
This video was uploaded on social media by Mauro D’Attis, an Italian politician.
In the statement, Aeroporto di Puglia – representing different airports south of Italy (Bari, Brindisi, Foggia and Taranto) – wants to avoid further unmotivated safety concerns that emerged after the publication of a video in which airport operators engage in the transport of buckets of water to an aircraft at Brindisi Airport. “We would like to provide adequate information on our procedures in case of snow and/or ice,” the airport said in the statement.
The de-icing procedure consists of two levels: de-icing and anti-icing, de-icing is the removal of snow and ice from the wings to ensure lift during take-off. Anti-icing is the protection of possible contamination of snow and ice by spraying an antifreeze fluid, sufficient to allow the aircraft to roll towards the runway and to take-off in safe conditions.
For de-icing, the standard procedures allow the use of water at 60°C if the ground temperatures are greater than or equal to 0°C, in this case the captain of the flight inspected the aircraft after the procedure and decided in total autonomy of a safe departure of his flight. “We would like to stress that Brindisi Airport is certified according to EASA European safety standards and is equipped with the necessary systems and equipment for the smooth and safe operation of airport operations,” the airport wrote.