De-icing at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport


With colder winter temperatures comes the need to  de-ice aircraft—a common safety precaution that involves spraying aircraft with de-icing and anti-icing fluids that help to prevent or remove the build-up of ice and snow, and ensure a safe take-off for aircraft.

If you’ve ever been inside a plane being de-iced it’s much like going through a car wash. But what happens to the de-icing fluid after it has been sprayed?

Billy Bishop Airport carefully manages the use, collection and disposal of de-icing and anti-icing chemicals to ensure safety and the protection of the environment. The airport has designated areas and strict protocols for aircraft to receive applications of de-icing fluid. These areas are designed so that the de-icing fluids flow into catch basins and underground containment sewers utilizing metered pumps, in accordance with the sanitary discharge agreement with the City of Toronto, that trap and thoroughly contain surface runoff. As an added precaution, snow from the designated de-icing area is also cleared and pumped into a containment sewer.


All runoff from the de-icing area is then transferred into the City’s sanitary sewer system where it can be properly and safely treated.

The de-icing protocols and practices in place at Billy Bishop Airport are just one of the ways that PortsToronto works to help keep people safe and fulfill our commitment to protect the environment. To learn more about PortsToronto’s sustainability priorities and initiatives, click here.