Airports find savings with Indy de-icing firm

De-icing costs airports and airlines a lot of money, but an Indianapolis-based manufacturer is helping a growing number of them find savings.

E Solutions Inc. makes systems that allow de-icing crews to adjust their mix of water and the chemical glycol, which costs $9 to $14 per gallon. E Solutions recently installed a system at JFK International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, General Manager and co-owner Greg Bielefeld said.

Atlanta doesn’t get a lot of winter weather but when it does, like last month, the airport faces huge losses from a shutdown, Bielefeld said. That’s why the airport recently spent $32 million to build a de-icing system from scratch, he said.

E Solutions has been in business since 1995 and has its systems, which Bielefeld said look like “a big gas station in the middle of the tarmac,” in every major airport north of the Mason-Dixon line. That is, except Indianapolis International Airport.

Needless to say, Bielefield was thrilled to hear that Indianapolis airport officials will soon put out a request for proposals for cost-effective storm-water management. As IBJ reported Jan. 27, the airport spent $1.1 million on sewage treatment last year, partly because it’s required to treat runoff that in the winter is contaminated with de-icing chemical. One way to cut those costs is to cut down on the amount of glycol that ends up in storm water.

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