North Airfield Deicing Facility
2016 American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia State Award Winner

To prevent a reoccurrence of Delta Air Lines’ $240 million loss following the grounding of its winter fleet in a four-day winter storm, Prime Engineering personnel (as part of the ASCEND, LLC joint venture) designed and developed a state-of-the-art deicing facility located on Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s North Airfield.

Facility design not only met, but significantly exceeded, program goals. Space-saving features included incorporation of extra parking positions and cutting-edge electronics instead of cumbersome physical infrastructure. Despite the enhancements and innovations, the Deicing Facility pays for itself in less than one day of a significant winter storm.

Innovative features include:

  • Onsite burners and heat generation to ensure instant delivery of hot water, on demand, for the deicing process.
  • Aircraft movement plan using 3-D computer-generated graphics in a virtual facility simulation.
  • Electronic Virtual Tower System taking up a fraction of a physical observation ramp tower’s space
  • Environmentally friendly stormwater collection system that collects all glycol, either for discharge into the treatment system or to be hauled off by truck to a reclamation facility.

Layout features 15 parking positions in a confined space – more than what was asked for, all without going over budget – as well as an animated aircraft movement plan video to demonstrate the space’s use. Despite the innovative and extra features, the Facility remained on budget, staying at the originally agreed-on price.