Author: Tina Kinsey

Official dedication and ribbon cutting for the new parking garage took place on March 14, 2018

Asheville Regional Airport officially celebrated the opening of its new 5-story parking garage on Wednesday, March 14 at 10am.  The Asheville and Henderson County Chambers of Commerce joined airport officials, the project consultants and contractors, airport staff and members of the community to commemorate this historic milestone in our region's airport's growth.

"Utilization of our region's airport has exceeded projections four years in a row, and the need for additional parking had to be prioritized sooner than our master plan indicated," said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., AVL Executive Director.  "We are proud of the end result, and pleased to now offer ample parking for our customers that is convenient, covered and an easy walk to the terminal."

The parking garage offers 1,100 public parking spaces, and several hundred spaces on the lowest level designated as the rental car ready return lot.  The garage augments 700 long-term surface lot spaces, and approximately 100 short-term surface lot spaces.

The  $22 million parking garage project took one year to complete, and has a unique architectural appearance featuring 3-story metal perforated walls that depict almost photographic images of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  One of only a handful of such structures in the United States, the metal panels that make up the imagery are also functional, allowing airflow and protection from the elements inside the garage.

The primary consultant on the project was Delta Airport Consultants, with structural design by Walker Consultants, architectural design by Gresham, Smith and Partners, the contractor was local company American South General Contractors, and utilities by Vaughn & Melton, also a local firm.

Asheville Regional Airport is served by five airlines:  Allegiant, American, Delta, Elite and United.  For more information, visit

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New nonstop route to Denver on Allegiant starts May 16

(Asheville, N.C.) Today, Allegiant announced new nonstop service from Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) twice weekly through the summer.

Regional leaders held a press conference today to celebrate the new route, and to highlight its importance to the western North Carolina region.

"The community has been asking for a nonstop to Denver for many years, and we have been advocating strongly for a long time," said Lew Bleiweis, AVL Executive Director. "There is a significant link between both cities and regions, leisure and business ties alike. Denver has consistently been in the top ten markets served by AVL, even without a nonstop flight option. With the addition of a nonstop option, we anticipate that the travel numbers to and from both locations will soar."

The Denver route will be the only nonstop option within a two-hour drive from most of western North Carolina, a significant achievement for AVL. "It is a privilege to serve on the airport authority board, and to be a part of strategic planning and decisions that affect the success of our region's airport," said Matthew Burril, Vice Chair of the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority Board. "We know that this new route will not only attract our local travelers, but also those from the greater region. It will truly be the easiest flight to Denver for people in WNC, parts of the upstate and friends in Tennessee, and is a great addition to the flight options available right here at AVL."

The local ties to Denver already include a strong daily number of people traveling to and from Denver. Local business links include New Belgium Brewing and Oskar Blues, both headquartered near Denver, with operations also located in western North Carolina. The Asheville Tourists minor league baseball team is connected to Denver's major league team, the Colorado Rockies, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has significant locations in both Asheville and near Denver.

"Whether we are recruiting a new business, attracting new talent or welcoming visitors, direct access is an advantage," said Kit Cramer, President and CEO of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce.  "Denver is a gateway to the west and we are thrilled to have a direct flight connecting us." 

"The Asheville Regional Airport is a key player in maintaining a strong regional economy – providing safe, efficient and affordable service to business and leisure travelers," said Bob Williford, President of the Henderson County Chamber. "We are excited to see this success continue with yet another terrific announcement from Allegiant."

From a tourism perspective, Asheville and western North Carolina continue to be recognized far and wide. "Asheville's elevation as a popular destination has reached a national scale," said Stephanie Brown, President and CEO of Explore Asheville CVB.  "We are so pleased that Allegiant continues to recognize this fact, and celebrate the opening of this fantastic gateway to our region.  We look forward to welcoming many visitors from Denver and the west."

The airport and community leaders encourage the greater region to use this new service. "It is very important that our region's travelers use this new service. With strong utilization, we can make a compelling case for the service to continue year-round," said Bleiweis. "Asheville Regional Airport is now a small hub airport, and we anticipate our growth to continue. Thank you, western North Carolina, for flying from your local airport, and we also thank Allegiant for their continued commitment to growth in our region."

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By the numbers:

  • Allegiant has made significant investment in our region, designating AVL as one of only 14 base cities in their network
    • 60+ local jobs with Allegiant
    • 19 local jobs with Worldwide Flight Services, the affiliated ground handler
    • maintenance facility
    • two based aircraft
  • Allegiant provides 31% of all air service at AVL
  • In 2017, Allegiant served 294,050 passengers to and from AVL
  • Allegiant now serves seven destinations from AVL:
    • Baltimore/Washington (D.C. area)
    • Denver
    • Fort Lauderdale
    • Newark (New York City area)
    • Orlando (Sanford)
    • Punta Gorda
    • St. Pete-Clearwater (Tampa area)

Asheville Regional Airport experienced the highest number of annual passengers in its history in 2017

(Asheville, N.C.)

The numbers are in, and Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) annual passenger numbers were at their highest ever in 2017. Specifically, 956,634 passengers used the airport in 2017, compared to 826,648 in 2016, which is a 15.7% increase. 2017 was the fourth consecutive record year of passenger utilization, and the annual numbers are more than 50% higher than they were just five years ago.

"The airport has been growing during the past few years, and 2017 was especially significant," said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., Executive Director. "The airlines expanded their services with larger planes and more seats and frequencies to existing destinations, and a new airline and route was also added. Equally important, our region's travelers continued to use their local airport."

"On behalf of the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority Board, I would like to thank western North Carolina travelers for flying from their local airport," said Bob Roberts, Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority Board Chair. "When travelers make the decision to use their local airport, they contribute to the overall strength and vitality of the region at large. Much of the credit for the continued growth at AVL goes to our local communities, and we thank you."

Additionally, western North Carolina's recognition and significant success as a prime tourist destination has been key to the airport's utilization and air service growth.

Managing growth

The airport is working diligently to manage growth. On the horizon are plans to expand the Transportation Security Administration screening area from two lanes to three. The airport is also in discussion with the TSA regarding implementation of TSA Pre-check.

Additionally, a new five-story parking garage is now open, which provides ample close-to-the-terminal, convenient covered parking for travelers.

Last, the airport is beginning an extensive terminal assessment study to determine infrastructure and spatial needs to serve growing numbers of people now and into the future. Once the study is complete, next steps will be identified.

Highlights: Airline Statistics

Allegiant Air                       

20% more seats in the market compared to 2016, including first full year of nonstop service to Newark, NJ

American Airlines            

10% more seats in the market compared to 2016

Delta Airlines                    

1% growth in load factor compared to 2016

Elite Airways                     

New airline in 2017 serving Vero Beach, FL

United Airlines                 

87% increase in seats in the market compared to 2016, primarily driven by Newark year-round, daily service (increased from a seasonal route) and increases in frequency of flights to and from Chicago

Record passenger numbers continue: October 2017 was the busiest month in history at AVL

October 2017 was the busiest month on record at AVL, topping the previous record set in July 2017. Specifically, 102,095 passengers used the airport in October, topping the previous record of 100,998 monthly passengers, and exhibiting an increase of 17.3% over the same period last year. Year-to-date, passenger numbers are up 14% compared to 2016 – setting the pace for a fourth consecutive record year. "We are busier than we have ever been," said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., executive director, "And we are working diligently to continue to meet the needs of our growing base of passengers. Our local travelers are finding the flight options they need, right here at their home airport. At the same time, we are welcoming many visitors to our area. The airport's growth is a reflection of the vibrancy of our great region." October's large increase in passengers was driven by a significant increase in seats offered in our market by Allegiant, American and United Airlines, and by travelers' willingness to purchase those seats and fly to and from AVL. The planes are full, and the demand for air service is outpacing the supply. Asheville and western North Carolina continue to grow as a popular destination, and the passenger numbers reflect this fact. "I would like to thank area residents for continuing to use their local airport," said Bleiweis. "Our mission is to provide an exceptional airport experience, and our airline partners' continued commitment to our region contributes to the excellent air service available here." Asheville Regional Airport is nearing the completion of Project SOAR: Significant Opportunity for Aviation and the Region – an $80 million, four-plus year project resulting in a new (replacement) runway and additional taxiway to serve the region's aviation needs for decades to come. A new 1,300-space parking garage is now partially open, and will fully open in coming weeks. AVL is served by four airlines: Allegiant, American, Delta and United. For more information, visit

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Airport kicks off new Paws for Passengers program with four-legged airport ambassadors who provide companionship, comfort, wags and kisses

Starting July 14, 2017, there will be new ambassadors at Asheville Regional Airport. These volunteers will have four legs, wagging tails and lots of affection to share with passengers and visitors. They may even share a few kisses.

Their names are Grace, Sam, Doc, Sunny, Daisy, Baby, Jelly, Willa and Brody. And these ambassadors are part of a new program called "Paws for Passengers," in which pet therapy dogs and their handlers will meander through the airport terminal during busy times each week. The pet therapy dogs are mild-mannered, friendly and trained companions who enjoy visiting with people of all ages, and their handlers have hearts of service.

 "When asked why we started this new program at the airport, I immediately think about our region and how pet-friendly we are," said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., Executive Director. "It is a good fit for Asheville Regional Airport to have this program that allows certified pets in the terminal to help bring some cheer, welcome locals and visitors, perhaps calm some nerves and provide a unique passenger experience."

The program currently has eleven volunteer handlers and nine pet therapy dogs, from Labradors and a miniature Greyhound to rescue dogs of various mixed breeds. All dogs and handlers are trained and certified by either Therapy Dogs, Inc. or Pet Partners, both national organizations committed to training, testing and certification, regulating, insuring and registering therapy dogs and their volunteer handlers so they are prepared to visit public places.

The volunteers have also participated in an in-depth airport orientation and training, and will be part of the Guest Services volunteer team.

"We are excited to join the small but growing list of airports that offer pet therapy programs," said Tina Kinsey, A.A.E., Marketing & PR Director. "Our program is the only one offered at an airport within two hours of AVL, and is just one more way we are focusing on passengers."

For more information about the program, including the application to become a Paws for Passengers volunteer, visit

Elite Airways introduces nonstop jet service between AVL and Vero Beach, Florida to start May 25

Elite Airways LLC today announced new nonstop flights between Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) and Vero Beach Regional Airport (VRB) in Florida. The new flights, scheduled on Thursdays and Sundays between VRB and AVL will begin on May 25. Early-bird fares start at $179 each way and tickets are now on sale at 877-393-2510 and

Elite Airways operates a fleet of Bombardier CRJ-200 and CRJ-700 jet airliners known for comfort and efficiency, and maintains an impeccable safety record. Passengers receive free onboard snacks and beverages, first checked bag up to 50lbs, and no ticketing change fees* (see website for details). Asheville is located within North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and is known for a vibrant arts scene, national parks and hiking trails, and historic architecture. Vero Beach offers luxury beachfront living and resorts, world-class golf, dining, shopping, fine arts and cultural attractions.

“We are pleased to offer nonstop jet service between Asheville and Vero Beach with a Thursday/Sunday schedule that will be ideal for vacationers headed in either direction,” said John Pearsall, President of Elite Airways. “We look forward to providing service in Asheville and sincerely thank airport and community leaders for their support.”

“Asheville Regional Airport is growing significantly, with more passengers than ever before flying to and from western North Carolina,” said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., Executive Director.  “We are pleased to welcome Elite Airways as the newest airline at AVL, and look forward to welcoming travelers to and from Vero Beach, Florida.”           

“Nonstop jet service to Asheville is a unique addition at VRB, and one that has been highly sought after by passengers who would rather take a nonstop flight versus a ten hour drive. The airport is pleased to see new markets and travel opportunities open up to the area, and we thank Elite Airways for expanding its service at Vero Beach Regional Airport,” said Airport Executive Director, Eric Menger.

About Elite Airways

Elite Airways LLC was founded in 2006 by airline veterans with the goal to provide passengers a better travel experience with nonstop flights, competitive prices and exceptional service. Elite Airways is a U.S. Part 121 Air Carrier and provides charter and scheduled service throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, and South America.  The airline’s routes connect underserved communities with popular destinations that include New York City/Newark, Portland ME, Asheville NC, Orlando-Melbourne, Sarasota-Bradenton, and Vero Beach FL, and the island of Bimini in the Bahamas. Headquartered in Portland Maine, Elite Airways’ maintenance operations center is located in Melbourne on Florida’s Space Coast. All scheduled flights are sold and operated by Elite Airways LLC, and available for purchase at or by calling 877-393-2510.

For Reservations: 1-877-393-2510                                                      

Customer Service: 321-265-5100 ext. 103                                          


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*Starting fare for a one way ticket. **For Elite Airways flights, the first checked bag and carry-on will be free, $50.00 for a second checked bag, and $75.00 for the third checked bag per person. Each checked bag weighing between 51 and 70 pounds will be assessed a fee of $25 in addition to the checked bag fee. Each checked bag weighing between 71 and 100 pounds will be assessed a fee of $100. Visit for more details on our standard baggage service fee schedule. Dates of the advertised flights are subject to change in accordance with regulatory requirements. See the TSA website for a list of prohibited items.

Breathe easy in the clouds: aircraft pressurization 101

Flight crews will often tell you that the aircraft is pressurized for your comfort. While this is reassuring to hear, have you ever wondered what it actually means? What is cabin pressurization and why is it necessary?

While people can adapt to high altitudes, climbing and descending as quickly as an aircraft does would be extremely uncomfortable. The higher the altitude, the less oxygen there is in the air and the lower the overall air pressure is. If flights were not pressurized, passengers would be at risk of various physiological aliments. Because of this, federal regulations require that all commercial flights over 8,000 feet be pressurized.

So how does it work? Aircraft are pressurized by pumping cooled and humidified air into the aircraft’s cabin during flight. This flow of air into the cabin is constant. Depending on the aircraft, this air can be bleed air (air generated by the engines), fresh air from outside or a mixture of both. The pressurization system is designed to slowly raise and lower the cabin altitude as a flight climbs and descends, to allow as gentle a transition as possible for passengers.

When your flight is zipping along at 40,000 feet, the pressure in the cabin will be similar to the pressure at 5,000 or 6,000 feet in elevation. This is a comfortable elevation for the human body, but is still not the same as being on the ground. Essentially, being in a pressurized cabin is more like standing on a small mountain than being on the ground at sea level, or even at Asheville’s elevation of just over 2,000 feet. Most of the physiological quirks that some people experience when flying, like jet lag, are the result of the cabin altitude.

A depressurization event (when a pressurized aircraft loses cabin pressure for any reason) is extremely unlikely, but flight crews are trained extensively on how to handle them. In the event of a depressurization, oxygen masks will deploy for every passenger. Oxygen mask demonstrations are always a part of the flight attendant’s safety briefing, and if you’re a frequent flier, you could probably run the demonstration yourself after having seen it so many times. Oxygen masks are designed to deploy if the cabin altitude exceeds 14,000 feet for any reason. A little-known fact about oxygen masks is that there is typically an extra mask in every row of seats on a plane. This means an airplane with three seats on each side of the aisle will have eight masks in that row. These extra masks are for those traveling with a lap child (an infant in their lap), and is also why airlines have a restriction on the number of lap children that can be in any given row.

The number one priority in aviation is always safety, so you can be sure there are rules and regulations in place to govern safety around oxygen. For example, there must be enough oxygen on board to allow passengers to continue to breathe comfortably until the pilots can descend below 14,000 feet; there must be at least two hours’ worth of oxygen on board for each member of the flight crew; and all commercial aircraft must be able to descend from their cruising altitude to 10,000 feet in ten minutes.

While we’re on the subject, we may as well point out that the aircraft is pressurized from the cockpit to where the tail starts to narrow, and that includes the cargo area of the aircraft, so no need to worry about your furry friends traveling in cargo below – they’re enjoying the comfort of the pressurized aircraft, too!

2016 was the third consecutive year of record passenger utilization at AVL

Asheville, N.C. – Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) is reporting the highest number of annual passengers in its 56-year history, with enplanements up 5.6% (414,606) and deplanements up 4.5% (412,042), for a total of 826,648 passengers flying in and out of the airport in 2016.  This is a five percent increase over the previous record year, set in 2015, and sustains AVL as the fourth largest commercial service airport in North Carolina.

By the numbers:




Total Passengers









“We have experienced three consecutive years of record-breaking growth,” said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., AVL Executive Director.  “We have excellent air service available, provided by four airline partners, and travelers are choosing to fly from AVL.  The strong numbers are a reflection of the airlines’ success, our region’s economic strength, as well as the vibrancy of WNC as a tourism destination. I would like to personally thank our local travelers for their patronage and loyalty to our region’s airport.”

“The Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority (GARAA) Board continues to focus on air service, infrastructure needs and development at the airport to best serve Western North Carolina,” said Bob Roberts, GARAA Board Chairman.  “And it is very positive to see continued strong utilization of our local airport.  The board will continue to stay focused on our mission to provide an exceptional airport experience.”

All four airlines at AVL – American, Allegiant, Delta and United – saw annual growth in passengers.  The largest growth in enplanements by percentage was experienced by Allegiant (12.5%) and United (8.5%), due to additional routes and increased frequencies to existing routes.  Specifically, Allegiant added less-than-daily non-stop service to three new destinations in 2016:  Jacksonville, Fla. (summer seasonal); Washington, D.C. via Baltimore/ Washington International (seasonal); and New York City via Newark Liberty International.  United increased flights and frequency of service to Chicago during peak travel times.  American and Delta both experienced growth, as well.

In response to recent growth trends, the airport is constructing a new five-story parking garage, slated for completion later this year.

“We are ready for continued growth, and look forward to a strong 2017,” said Bleiweis.  “We encourage our local travelers to continue to check AVL first for their travel needs, and we look forward to welcoming them to the airport soon.”

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The most recent economic impact study conducted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation showed that AVL contributes more than half a billion dollars annually to the local economy, and generates more than 1,700 jobs.  This economic impact will continue to grow as the airport grows. 

When you fly home, you’re home: Top 10 reasons to Fly4Biz from AVL

We’ve got some serious air warriors out there – travelers we see every Monday, and welcome home at the end of each week.  You’re working hard around the globe, and banking some serious mileage!

Some business travelers fly less frequently, so we may not know you by name (yet) – but we sure would like to.  We believe there are excellent benefits to designating Asheville Regional Airport as your airport of choice for your business travel, and here are the “top ten” on our list!

Reason #10 to Fly4Biz from AVL:  We’ve got your last-minute business services covered

From mailing, faxing and printing services, recharge stations throughout the airport, and a quiet business center with private cubicle desks – we know you may need to take care of a few things before you board the plane.

Reason #9 to Fly4Biz from AVL:  Parking is just steps away from check-in

With numerous parking options – including a lot across the street with 24/7 shuttle service directly to and from the front door of the terminal, you can step from your car and be in the terminal in a matter of minutes.

Reason #8 to Fly4Biz from AVL:  Airlines offer dual-class service, catering to business travelers

AVL is served by three legacy airlines that have excellent products designed just for business travelers. Learn more about business services:  American | Delta | United.  Of particular note, flights from AVL often have dual-class (first-class or business-class) service offered.

Reason #7 to Fly4Biz from AVL:  You can relax

AVL is designed to provide a relaxing, easy experience before and after you board your plane.  Enjoy a quiet corner in a rocking chair, or hang out at the bar overlooking the runway in the Blue Ridge Tavern where there are always local brews on tap.  You may want to wander through the Art Gallery where works by local artists are displayed, or if you’re lucky – you’ll be in the terminal during one of the “Music on the Fly” pop-up concerts by local musicians, sponsored by

Reason #6 to Fly4Biz from AVL:  Easy security lines

Yes, we advise all travelers to arrive two hours before their flights.  That’s just prudent traveling.  However, our TSA security lines are typically short … and when they do get long, the process is efficient.  And if you’re a TSA Pre-check customer, you can enjoy expedited screening at AVL.  While there is not a dedicated Pre-check screening line, you won’t have to remove your shoes, belts or jackets before screening.

Reason #5 to Fly4Biz from AVL:  We strive to know you by name

The courteous airline, TSA and restaurant staff provide excellent customer service.  We often hear from frequent business travelers that they love being greeted by name – that this small gesture makes them feel at home.  That’s our goal, because you ARE at home.  AVL is your hometown airport, and we’re proud of the service offered.

Reason #4 to Fly4Biz from AVL:  When you “fly local,” the whole region benefits

The presence of a vibrant airport significantly contributes to the economy.  Because AVL is here, there are 1,700 jobs in our community, and the economic impact to the region is more than half a billion dollars annually.  So, we always ask travelers to “check AVL first” for all of their air travel needs  High utilization leads to a stronger airport.  And guess what?  Travelers ARE flying from AVL – we’ve experienced record-setting years of passenger growth.  Thank you.  We hope to welcome you back to the airport again soon!

Reason #3 to Fly4Biz from AVL:  We’re a gateway to the world, usually with one easy connection

In 2013, AVL was named the “best connected” regional airport in America by MIT’s International Center for Air Transportation.  Among airports our size, in communities like ours, AVL offers frequent daily connectivity on three legacy airlines via major international hubs (American, Delta and United).  Additionally, AVL has point-to-point non-stop service to some key east coast leisure destinations on Allegiant.

Reason #2 to Fly4Biz from AVL:  There’s no road trip before your business trip

When you travel for business, doesn’t it feel good to get to the airport, go through security and then just begin the air travel process?  Instead of spending an hour or two in the car first, you can hop on a plane to your connecting airport, and then use any layover time to prepare for your business meeting, read, catch up on emails or have a bite to eat.  There’s no major traffic (ok, we admit – I-26 could be backed up due to never-ending construction, but that’s just life in WNC), and you know that your airport experience will most likely be pretty easy.  (You might even be greeted by name.)

Reason #1 to Fly4Biz from AVL:  When you fly home, you’re home.

Business travel is necessary, sometimes exciting (sometimes not), and can be exhausting.  When you’re done with the work at hand, we know you start thinking about home.  You want to be there.  Relaxing in your chair.  Hiking on your favorite trail on the Parkway.  Hanging out at your favorite brewery on the South Slope in Asheville, or just sleeping in your own bed.  So, when you fly AVL for your business trips – the ease works in reverse.  When you land, you see the mountains around you and sigh.  HOME.  You walk off the plane – grab your bag, and in moments, you are to your car.  Maybe you stop along Airport Road to grab some groceries, or perhaps you get a text to meet your husband for dinner at Biltmore Park (you can meet there in ten minutes).  SIGH.  That’s the best.  Welcome home.

Baby, it’s cold outside! Deicing: What it is and why it matters

If you’ve flown much during the colder months, odds are you’ve been on a flight that had to be deiced before takeoff. Airplanes, especially jets, fly at very high altitudes and very fast speeds. At 35,000 feet, it’s not uncommon to see temperatures dip below negative sixty degrees Fahrenheit. If planes can operate in these extreme subzero temperatures regularly, why is it necessary to deice when on the ground?

The reason for deicing lies within the design of the aircraft itself. All airplane designs are very precisely engineered to be flown as they were built, without the addition of any contamination. No, this doesn’t mean the aircraft can’t become ill with a virus. In aviation, the term contamination often refers to the buildup of ice on the aircraft’s wings and fuselage (the body of the aircraft). Even a small amount of ice on the wings changes the wing’s shape and impacts its aerodynamics. But fear not! As with everything in aviation, there are numerous precautions and procedures for all commercial flights to ensure safe operations in and around icing conditions.

The process of deicing is relatively simple, but there’s a bit more to it than meets the eye. There are primarily two types of deicing fluid that are used in the United States. Both fluids are glycol based but have their differences. The first type, which is orange, is a true deicer. It’s the most diluted form of deicing fluid and is used to remove snow and ice from an aircraft. The other fluid is thicker and designed to stick to the aircraft for a defined period of time, making it more of an anti-ice fluid. Each fluid is applied hot, which is why you see so much steam when deicing in colder temperatures. Your pilot will tell the ground crew exactly what type of deicing fluid they need and where. In many conditions, they’ll just request deicing of the wings and tail.

In conditions where there is no freezing precipitation, you’ll get a spray of of the deicer and be on your way. If it’s snowing, your flight will first get a coat of deicer, followed up with the anti-ice fluid. Based on the temperature and weather conditions, pilots know exactly how long they have to take off after being deiced. If they exceed this hold time, they must return to the gate to be deiced again. Additionally, pilots always visually inspect the wings before taking off in snowy conditions, regardless of how long ago the aircraft was deiced. During takeoff, the deicing fluid blows off the wings as the aircraft gains speed.

Once airborne, aircraft are able to use their own anti-ice and deicing systems. Most jets use hot air from the core of the engine to heat metal surfaces along the edges of the wings to prevent and remove ice.

That said, pilots and Air Traffic Control do all they can to avoid substantial icing conditions. It’s rare to ever spend a substantial amount of any given flight in icing conditions. At high altitudes, air is often so dry that there’s not enough moisture to generate any significant form of icing on the aircraft. Like all phases of flight, aircraft manufacturers, airlines and pilots have handling ice down to a science. Rest assured that if the winter weather is beyond the parameters for safe flight, your flight won’t leave the gate.