Home Greater Manchester British manufacturers help Manchester Airport take off

British manufacturers help Manchester Airport take off


British manufacturers have been instrumental in helping Manchester Airport stay open through the winter by coming together to install an airplane de-icer system.

The fluid storage and processing system, created for Airline Services Handling LTD, had assistance from three British manufacturers.

The de-icer containers were supplied by Tuffa Tanks, which provided seven 15,000-litre capacity portable units. Two de-icing rigs were also provided to the airport by Northern Ireland firm, Mallaghan – A manufacturer of airport ground support equipment.

Nigel Daniel, Managing Director of Airline Services Handling LTD, praised these organisations coming together while promoting the provider of the de-icer itself:

“It was great to see all British manufactured products from Tuffa and Mallaghan being used on this project, together with de-icing fluid manufactured in the UK by the Haltwhistle based Chemical manufacturer, Kilfrost,”.

The de-icer system is a safety-critical measure which is vital for the safe operation of aircraft. The new layout of the tanks and plant has enabled the airport to meet demands for travel due to the rapid expansion of flights out of Manchester.

Located at Terminal Two but portable to reach other parts of the airport, the tanks are lightweight – requiring just a forklift truck to be manoeuvred. Housed in an integrated frame, they can be attached directly to fill the de-icing rigs providing there is a suitable concrete base. This has led to the new system being described as a “plug-in and play operation”.

The tanks can be easily drained and transported to another location, making them an ideal choice for multi-site ground crew operators.

The seven de-icer tanks were manufactured in polyethylene – a substance known for its prolonged usage and durability as well as its compatibility with de-icer chemicals.

During the manufacturing process, the tanks are baked in a large oven and cooled. They are then bunded, with the outer ‘bund’ having a minimum 110% capacity of the inner tank. As a result, this extra safety measure helps prevent over-filling and spillage, as well as offering clean, pollution-free storage, and meeting all legal requirements for secondary containment.

A moulded plastic cabinet is also added to the front to contain all the pumps, gauges and dispensing equipment. The result is a bespoke system suitable for the demands of Manchester Airport.

Tuffa Tanks UK General Manager, James Shenton said: “The aviation industry has specific requirements in terms of the grades of material required to store de-icer fluid, the bulk storage capacities required and the mixing and dispensing to the ground crew de-icer rigs. At Tuffa, we have many years’ experience of this type of project and have an expert, specialist team in the design, production and supply of de-icer tanks to airports.”