Widerøe Ground Handling has signed a letter of intent to be an operator of and use MSG Aviation’s planned automatic washing and de-icing hall for aircrafts at Oslo Airport Gardermoen.
The parties have committed to entering into an agreement on commercial terms when the facility is ready. MSG Aviation is in dialogue with Avinor about necessary clarifications to start the construction of the facility, which may be ready in 2022.
MSG Aviation’s solution involves a new and automated solution for washing, de-icing and technical inspection of aircraft where chemicals are used to a lesser extent than in current manual operations, and are recycled to a very high degree. The ambition is for these processes to be significantly faster than today, which again could lead to shorter travel time for passengers.
“Widerøe Ground Handling is committed to contributing to a more climate- and environmentally-friendly aviation by reducing emissions from our operations on the ground. The solution we now want to use for washing and de-icing aircraft will contribute to lower carbon emissions and reduced costs for our airline customers,” said commercial director Kjell Ivar Maudal of Widerøe Ground Handling. Widerøe Ground Handling is a part of the Widerøe Group and provides ground handling services to a number of airlines at 42 Norwegian airports.
The automated facility is now ready for use after a few years of research, development and testing of the prototype at Geiteryggen Airport in Skien. The solution has been developed with funds from the EU and Innovation Norway, among others.
Today, it takes a long time to remove ice and snow of planes manually before departure. This often leads to significant delays on snowy days. Such delays will be reduced with the new, automated solution. In addition, the fuel consumption is lower, and the amount of the de-icing fluid that is collected is higher, which increases the possibility of reuse.
“We look forward to providing washing and de-icing for Widerøe Ground Handling’s airline customers. Our solution is of great commercial interest, and we look forward to launching our facilities, first at Gardermoen and then elsewhere in Norway and around the world. The potential is great,” said CEO Geir Steiro of MSG Aviation.
He adds that not only commercial airlines, but also airports, cargo airlines and military aviation are potential customers.
Reduced time and emissions lead to lower costs
More frequent and customised aircraft washing contributes to less air resistance and thus better fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions. The washing also causes less wear on the aircraft, which in turn leads to lower maintenance costs. MSG Aviation also has a solution for engine washing that is important for the engines’ thermal power and performance. Overall, this will reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to two percent. By washing the aircraft every 26 days, a reduction in fuel consumption of up to two percent is achieved.
The letter of intent also includes a common goal that several of Widerøe Ground Handling’s customers will be able to use MSG Aviation’s solution for technical inspection. This is done by a scanning the aircraft. The digital process is accurate and timesaving.