The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) is calling for formal licensing of aircraft de-/anti-icing service providers at airports and closer regulation of the fluids used. This follows the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) revelation that control jams resulting from the accumulation of de-icing fluid residues are more common than previously acknowledged (Flight International, 18-24 April).
To address this issue, the ERA, working with the European Joint Aviation Authorities and Swiss International Air Lines, called a workshop in Basle, Switzerland earlier this month. The workshop’s recommendations – taking into account the part played by thickened de-icing fluids in creating residue build-up – include:
 Type 1 (thin) de-icing fluid should be made available at more airports;
 operators should be able to receive on demand the service they request, including two-step de-/anti-icing;
 de-/anti-icing service providers and their personnel should be licenced and overseen by a regulatory body;
 consideration should be given to the certification of de-/anti-icing products;
 independent research should be conducted into the behaviour of thickened fluids and the prevention of residue formation.
The reason, says the AAIB, that thickened fluids are popular is that they provide a longer hold-over period between the airframe de-icing process and take-off. For that reason some airports do not keep Type 1 fluid. The residue-caused control jam incidents have affected regional airliner types in particular because several of them do not have powered flying controls.

Source: Flight International