PHL Deicing Project

PHL Truck Based Deicing Apron

American Airlines is funding a project on behalf of the City of Philadelphia, Division of Aviation to convert the current boom based deicing facility at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to a truck based operation. Arora is providing mechanical, electrical, fire/life safety, special systems, and aeronautical electrical engineering as part of the team led by AECOM.

Constructed in 2001, the boom based deicing system shows signs of wear, and repairs have been mounting. In addition, the new ADG IV aircraft cannot fit in between the booms, putting PHL in an untenable situation. This two-phased transformation will provide four deicing bays capable of servicing the largest aircraft or two smaller aircraft at the same time. Additional provisions have been made to deice at a contiguous cargo apron.

A fleet of fifty deicing trucks will be accommodated. Underground systems will deliver water and Glycol #1 and #4 to filling stations located between the bays. Diesel fuel will be dispensed off the apron within the operational limits. A new Crew Building and Vehicle Maintenance Building will be erected to provide work and support facilities for the staff, and full truck mechanical servicing capability.

The Deicing Apron will be illuminated by wireless controlled, high mast LED lighting. The twelve centerlines of in-apron lighting will be individually controlled to enhance directional guidance to the pilots, followed by individually illuminated lead-off lighting when deicing is complete. Other operational features include utilization of the Harris System for aircraft identification prior to their arrival at the Deicing Apron, blanket coverage by a robust CCTV system, and a WiFi system for telemetry transference between trucks and Command.

Phase 1 involves the removal of approximately half of the booms and the creation of two new truck based bays and the diesel fueling station. Phase 2 includes the construction of the buildings and the last two deicing bays, an additional diesel tank, modification to the fluid distribution system, and new in-apron lighting regulators and controls. The project reused two transformers from the boom based system and stored twelve others for future use at PHL.


American Airlines for the City of Philadelphia, Division of Aviation


Philadelphia, PA