Electrically operated de-icing unit inaugurated at Oslo Airport

Menzies Aviation and Vestergaard are trialling the new system in the hopes of reducing the airport’s environmental impact

Global aviation services specialists, Menzies Aviation has announced the trial of an electrically operated de-icing unit – the Vestergaard Elephant e-BETA – at Oslo Airport.

This test is significant for ground handling operations, as it’s the first of its kind in Europe and only second in the world. The technology is hoped to reduce greenhouse gases, with the inclusion of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide, by 87% per truck each year.

Menzies Aviation/Vestergaard
Photo Menzies Aviation/Vestergaard

Both Menzies and Vestergaard have a long-standing relationship, as the aviation specialist currently operates 11 of the innovation company’s rigs as part of its de-icing fleet at the airport. Menzies has provided de-icing services to Oslo since 2016.

Rene Laebel, from the Vestergaard Company, said: “Menzies Oslo provides extensive de-icing services during the challenging weather season and is committed to building more sustainable ground handling operations, so we have a common interest in the success of the new unit.”

Vestergaard is committed to running a completely carbon neutral ground handling operation by 2030. The new de-icing unit is part of this initiative, as it is set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions whilst in operation.

“The successful trial of this electrically-driven de-icer promises to bolster not only the sustainability of our de-icing operations at Oslo Airport, but the sustainability of the industry at large,” said Thomas Hoff Andersson, vice president Menzies Aviation for Northern Europe.

This trial complements Menzies’ ‘Go Green’ project, established in Oslo in 2018, through which the Edinburgh-based firm has made significant investment into reduced-emissions ground handling equipment to decrease its carbon footprint, with 90% of ramp equipment replaced with modern, electric units last year. Should the trial be successful and the Vestergaard Elephant e-BETA rolled out, 97% of Menzies’ Oslo-based ground support equipment would be electric.