De-icing specialists Kilfrost explain how All Nippon Airways (ANA) has implemented a robust sustainability strategy for winter operations at Hakodate Airport, Japan.
Five months of snowfall and freezing temperatures come as standard during an average winter at Hakodate Airport (HA) in Japan, but now a sustainable fight against the ice is under way.
About 100 tonnes of de-icing and anti-icing products are used every year to prevent disruption to the 8,850 flights through the airport in Hokkaido that contend with average winter temperatures between -2°C and 3°C.
All Nippon Airways (ANA), which operates from HA alongside Japan Airlines, is to date the only carrier in the country that is acting on the environmental impact of the ice fight and specifically follows a stringent policy of environmental protection embedded into its corporate social responsibility agenda.
It is also the only Japanese airline to use UK-based Kilfrost’s Sustain family of de-icing and anti-icing products, including DF Sustain, DF Plus and ABC-S PLUS to keep 23 daily domestic and ten international flights operating to schedule each week – especially during regular snowfall between November and March.
Kilfrost’s ABC-S PLUS, in particular, offers extended anti-icing holdover protection to lengthen the time between winter servicing of aircraft (primarily medium to small in size), which reduces the quantity of de-icing and anti-icing.
The fluid products are manufactured using glycol, derived from sustainable cornstarch, which significantly reduces energy consumption compared with standard glycol, making the product readily biodegradable with low toxicity. It is completely recyclable and contributes significantly to the sustainability strategy of the airport, reducing its carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. Approximately one fifth of ANA’s annual winter tonnage of de-icing and anti-icing fluid is DF-Sustain, supporting important sustainable improvements and the airline and airport’s wider environmental strategies at the main gateway to the city of Hokkaido.
Japan is the world’s fifth biggest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2) and its government considers environmental conservation and protection to be a high priority. As a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, and host of the 1997 conference that created it, Japan is under treaty obligations to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions. Targets set against Japan include a 5% reduction in emissions, comparable with the 1990 level, over a five-year period from 2008 to 2012.
De-icing and anti-icing operations are an essential process, but they carry an environmental impact, and ANA states it is making great strides to reduce its carbon output.