Runway De-Icing: Choosing Between Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride


As winter's icy grip tightens its hold, airports face a unique and critical challenge: ensuring the safety of flights during the coldest months of the year. Icy runways, a potential hazard that can't be taken lightly, demand effective de-icing solutions to keep aircraft operations running smoothly. In this article, we'll delve into the essential topic of runway de-icing and how calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, our unsung heroes, work tirelessly behind the scenes to make winter flights safer. Runway de-icers are the silent protectors of aviation safety during the winter season, ensuring a secure takeoff and landing for passengers and crew.

The Challenge of Winter Weather at Airports

Airports confront a multitude of challenges when winter's icy grasp takes hold. Among these challenges, one of the most critical and potentially hazardous is the condition of the runways. Icy runways pose a significant risk to aviation safety during the coldest months of the year. These frozen surfaces can diminish braking efficiency, increase the potential for skidding, and create treacherous conditions during takeoffs and landings.

In addition to icy runways, airports must contend with snow accumulation on runways and taxiways, freezing temperatures affecting ground equipment and aircraft, and the need to keep essential airport infrastructure clear of snow and ice. These challenges intensify during periods of heavy snowfall or prolonged cold snaps.

Ensuring safe airport operations in the face of these winter weather challenges requires meticulous planning, the use of effective de-icing solutions, and the coordination of various airport personnel and departments.

Liquid Runway De-Icer: Calcium Chloride

In the quest to keep runways safe during winter, liquid runaway de-icers like calcium chloride play a pivotal role. This hygroscopic compound is the Ninja de-icer of the aviation world, working quietly and efficiently to combat ice and snow. Its superpower lies in its ability to attract and retain moisture from the surrounding air, transforming it into a potent ice melter. When applied to runways, calcium chloride springs into action, breaking down ice and snow, preventing the formation of hazardous icy patches, and ensuring safer takeoffs and landings.

Calcium chloride's versatility shines through, as it can perform effectively in a wide range of temperatures, making it the go-to choice for airports facing harsh winters or milder climates. Whether it's the biting cold of northern airports or the milder chill of southern runways, calcium chloride rises to the challenge.

Solid Runway De-Icer: Magnesium Chloride

While calcium chloride takes the liquid form, magnesium chloride steps in as a solid runway de-icer, offering a worthy alternative. Much like its liquid counterpart, magnesium chloride possesses hygroscopic properties, drawing in moisture from the air to tackle ice and snow. What sets magnesium chloride apart is its efficiency. It can work its magic at lower application rates, potentially saving airports valuable resources.

Magnesium chloride's less corrosive nature compared to calcium chloride makes it an attractive option for airports concerned about infrastructure wear and tear. It excels in regions with milder winter climates, where it can eliminate ice without freezing-related risks.

Choosing the Right De-Icer

When it comes to selecting the appropriate de-icer for runway maintenance, the decision often revolves around calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, our reliable solid runway deicers. Climate stands as a primary consideration in this critical choice, as each de-icer excels in specific weather conditions.

For those facing the biting cold of icy winters, calcium chloride proves its mettle. Its effectiveness in freezing temperatures makes it a dependable ally for airports in regions where winter hits hard. It works diligently to prevent the formation of hazardous ice patches on runways.

However, in milder climates, magnesium chloride emerges as a strong contender. Thriving in less extreme weather conditions, it showcases its prowess by efficiently reducing ice buildup without the risks associated with freezing.

Cost-effectiveness also looms large in the decision-making process. Airports, like any other entities, must manage budgets effectively. Evaluating the upfront costs, ongoing expenses, and potential long-term savings offered by each solid runway de-icer is a vital aspect of the selection process.

In addition to cost considerations, sustainability plays a pivotal role in this decision. Airport authorities bear the responsibility of assessing the ecological impact of their de-icing choice. As the aviation industry increasingly embraces environmentally conscious practices, the sustainability factor carries growing significance in the world of solid runway de-icers.

Additional Information

To delve deeper into runway de-icing, it's essential to understand the practical applications of these de-icing agents. Liquid runway de-icers like calcium chloride are often applied using specialized equipment. Sprayers and trucks equipped with sprayer systems evenly distribute the liquid across the runway surface, ensuring thorough coverage. This process helps create a safer runway environment by preventing ice and snow buildup.

On the other hand, solid de-icers, including magnesium chloride, are typically spread using spreader trucks. These vehicles disperse the solid de-icer evenly across the runway, providing effective coverage. The choice between liquid and solid de-icers often depends on the airport's equipment and infrastructure.

Furthermore, runway de-icing is a complicated process at airports. It involves coordination among various departments and personnel to ensure that runways are adequately treated before flights arrive or depart. Timeliness is crucial to maintaining flight schedules and passenger safety.

The smooth operation of this process is vital, as it not only ensures the safety of passengers and crew but also minimizes delays and disruptions during the winter months. Runway de-icing is a behind-the-scenes hero, silently contributing to the efficiency and safety of air travel, even in the harshest winter conditions.


In conclusion, runway de-icing is the unsung hero of aviation safety during winter. Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, our dependable solid runway de-icers, whether in liquid or solid form, play vital roles in ensuring safe takeoffs and landings on icy runways. As airports carefully consider factors like climate, cost, and sustainability, they contribute to a safer and more efficient aviation environment during the challenging winter months. The use of Ninja de-icer behind the scenes helps maintain the highest standards of safety in the aviation industry, ensuring passengers and crew can travel confidently even in the harshest winter conditions.

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