An automated aircraft deicing wastewater treatment plant will be launched at Vilnius Airport in the second half of 2023, which will allow faster, safer and more environmentally advanced aircraft servicing during the cold season. Arionex LT was awarded the tender for the design of the treatment plant, the construction of the building and the installation of the necessary technological equipment.
The treatment plant will recycle all the waste water from the aircraft deicing process, which can then be used as a raw material for the production of the aircraft re-treatment fluid.
Arionex LT will install storage and concentrated effluent tanks, a separate treatment plant building and the necessary treatment technologies. The entire collection, treatment and storage process will be automated, with staff required only for periodic maintenance of the equipment, recording of process outputs and various measurements. The contract investment for the treatment plant project will amount to €2.9 million.
According to the representatives of Lithuanian Airports, the possibility of treating deicing wastewater generated at Kaunas and Palanga airports in the future in Vilnius is also being considered - the wastewater would be collected in tanks and later transported to an automated wastewater treatment plant for treatment and recycling.
The importance of deicing for aviation
The whole deicing procedure in the cold season is very important for flight safety, as it removes all the accumulated snow and ice from the aircraft, while at the same time providing an additional layer of coating to prevent ice formation for a certain period. If the aircraft does not take off after this process within the specified time, the whole procedure must be repeated.
Currently, at Vilnius Airport, aircraft after deicing in most cases have to travel a considerable distance to the runway, which means wasted time before the possibility of re-icing.
In addition, deicing vehicles have to approach the aircraft at various points on the apron, which increases the risk of obstructing objects on the apron.
Safety, speed and environmental protection
During the reconstruction of Vilnius Airport, which was completed at the end of 2021, four special deicing areas (two on the north and two on the south side) were installed. During deicing operations, the materials generated by the surface water networks installed during this project will be transported to the treatment plant on the south side of the airport, where they will be treated in several stages and then directed to the appropriate tanks.
Some of the separated materials will be used as a raw material for deicing fluid or for other applications after cleaning, reflecting the overall environmental and sustainability objectives of airport infrastructure development.
“The main objectives of this project are, without any doubt, flight safety and the speed of operations at the airport. We want our infrastructure to be best suited for the period when aviation flows will start to grow again, and in this context of future growth, the need for efficiency in deicing processes will never disappear. We will be ready and willing to offer top-notch solutions that are also more environmentally friendly,“ says Arnas Dūmanas, Head of Operations and Infrastructure Department at Lithuanian Airports.