Flying a Private Jet

October 19, 2022

Executive Education: Why Does My Business Jet Need De-icing?

Our Learning Series for Private Jet Plane Travelers Continues as We Answer Important Questions

Even when you were traveling on commercial airline flights, you heard the announcement come over the speakers in the jet cabin every winter: crews were de-icing the plane, but as soon as the process was finished, takeoff would be imminent.

But what does it mean to de-ice a business jet? And why is it a vital part of takeoff preparations?

When you own a private jet, you rely on your operations team and crew to take care of all the technicalities for you, so you can focus on developing your business. But curious executives can turn to this learning series from to better understand the care of their jet.

When Does a Private Jet Plane Need De-Icing?
When temperatures dip below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s likely that your business jet will need to be de-iced. In most parts of the Americas, this occurs between October and April - although world climates vary greatly, and de-icing is a rarity in tropical regions.

Aircraft are de-iced as close as possible to takeoff so that snow and ice don’t have a chance to build up again before the jet takes to the sky. In general, aircraft crews have an hour long window between de-icing and takeoff before de-icing is required again.

How Long Does the De-Icing Process Take?

There is no definitive way to answer a question about how long de-icing is likely to take, as it depends on numerous factors including outdoor temperature, current weather conditions, and private jet plane size or exterior surface area.

For minor frost build-up, deicing can take as few as five minutes, while a full coating of ice may take up to an hour for removal.

Why Does My Used Private Jet Need to be De-Iced?

The exterior surface of business jets must be clean to safely fly. Any type of “containment,” like ice or frost, can disrupt the necessary airflow. De-icing is vital for a safe departure. Especially on the wings, de-icing helps a jet to remain aerodynamic and ensures no unexpected weight is added to a jet so as not to exceed payload.

Deicing is performed using a glycol-based mixture that both removes ice or snow and keeps it off the aircraft while it waits at the gate or on the runway. Type 1 glycol de-icer is used to clear a business jet of ice, while Type 4, a thicker fluid, can keep it off the wings of a jet for up to an hour before takeoff.

Does De-Icing Affect the Integrity or Finish of My Business Jet’s Exterior Paint?
No. All de-icing fluids are safe to use on the exterior of your aircraft and do not cause damage to the paint or other finishes.

What Happens If Ice Builds Up on My Used Private Jet Mid-Flight?

Commercial aircraft are equipped with a deicing system consisting of heated tubes under the surface of the wings and tail. You may also find a similar system on large used private jets for sale - size equivalents to the Bombardier Global series or Gulfstream G-series.

Smaller aircraft - think those comparable in size to the Cessna Citation series - also often have de-icing systems, such as heated rubber surfaces or antifreeze solutions that can be applied mid-flight. Not sure what type of in-flight de-icing system your private jet plane utilizes? Ask your aircraft operations team for details, as it will vary by make, model, and year.

In the Market to Add to Your Fleet? Find a Pre-Owned Jet for Sale Today

As your business grows, your travel needs change. If you and your fellow executives are traveling more frequently, it may be time to expand your fleet of used private jets - the most affordable and quickly-acquired aircraft for busy business travelers like you.

Find listings of reputable and vetted pre-owned jets for sale on, the exclusive listing site of the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA). IADA Accredited Aircraft Dealers take an oath of ethics, meet or exceed rigorous standards, and remain pillars of respect in the industry.

An IADA Accredited Dealer will listen to your needs to expand your fleet of business jets and work only for you, keeping your best interests at heart. With a promise to represent only you during a jet acquisition, an IADA Accredited Dealer ensures that your jet-buying process goes smoothly. Click here to find a dealer near you.