Tag Archives: minneapolis st paul international airport

A boot camp like no other: Delta people hone deicing skills at Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)

Delta’s hub at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport is “home of the world’s best deicers.” If the winter months are their regular season, summer is time for boot camp – getting trained and ready for the winter ahead.

As you enter Delta’s deicing facility on the outskirts of Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP), a banner proudly proclaims, “Home of the world’s best deicers.” The sign is a rallying message not only for the deicers of MSP, but all of Delta’s deicers, no matter where they’re based. Delta people from around the operation – from Alaska to Florida – converge at MSP every summer to learn the latest techniques and protocols for deicing aircraft.

The top priority: ensuring a safe and smooth operation through the winter months.

As you enter Delta’s deicing facility on the outskirts of Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP), a banner proudly proclaims, “Home of the world’s best deicers.”

Delta’s deicing teams at MSP bring a lot of experience. More than 250 Delta employees at MSP are deice trained. During the 2022/2023 winter season, they deiced 14,040 departing planes at MSP – more than 20% of the 65,538 total Delta flights deiced across the operation, and far more than any other station. Delta’s hub at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) saw 8,255 Delta planes deiced, while at Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), Delta crews deiced 8,160 planes.

“I would say they set the gold standard for deicing,” said Vice President of MSP Operations Jeannine Ashworth. “The team does an amazing job to ensure the safety of our customers, our people and our aircraft.”

That experience, coupled with well-equipped facilities, is why Delta’s Airport Customer Service Learning and Development team hosts its annual summer deicing boot camp at MSP, bringing around 400 deicing experts from across Delta’s operation for education and training.

Deicing Boot Camp - Machine

The deicing boot camp is a “train the trainer” event, with groups rotating through sessions throughout the summer. Each bootcamp includes computer training, instructor demonstrations and hands-on practice spraying planes with water instead of deicing fluid.

“The training really recenters everything,” said Detroit-based deicing instructor Michael Ruby. “It gets all of us on the same page.”



The shape of an airplane’s wings is carefully designed to provide lift, which enables flight. When ice and snow accumulate on a plane, the shape of the wings are altered, and air does not flow over them properly. That snow and ice also adds weight and can prevent the free movement of control surfaces like flaps, ailerons and the rudder.

A mock deicing of plane in MSP for Delta's deicing summer boot camp


There are two major steps to deicing a plane: removing ice and snow from the plane’s surface, then protecting that surface from further accumulation before flight by anti-icing.

“To use an analogy that may be familiar to many: it’s like a car wash,” said Delta MSP Operation Service Manager David Pederson. “Deicing is about cleaning the surfaces of ice and snow, similar to how you would wash a car. Anti-icing is about protecting the clean surface, like car wax on the surface, which then shears off upon takeoff speed to reveal a perfectly clean surface giving the aircraft better performance in winter weather.”

Deicers use a combination of warm water and propylene glycol. That propylene glycol has a lower freezing point and absorbs water. By mixing propylene glycol with water, the freezing point of the mixed fluid is lower than water alone and enables snow and ice to fall off the plane and prevents it from reaccumulating.

According to the National Library of Medicine, propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid used for a variety of purposes in chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as an additive that is “generally recognized as safe.”

Deicing the tail of an Airbus A320 at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.


At MSP, the mixture of water and propylene glycol that runs off the plane and onto the ground flows into a special drainage system that flows into tanks. The fluid is then distilled, separating the water from the propylene glycol.  The propylene glycol is then refined so it can be used for other purposes.

After completing the sessions, trainees – now trainers – return to their home airports, where they pass their knowledge and experience on to hundreds of Delta people. Thus, the cycle of learning key safety practices and applying those high standards continues. “We’re all presenting and implementing the material in the same way,” Ruby said. “Consistency is so important.”

Top 25: Delta departures deiced by airport during the 2022/2023 winter season

1Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)14,040
2Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)8,255
3Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)8,160
4Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)2,442
5Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)1,693
6O’Hare International Airport (ORD)1,109
7Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)1,077
8Denver International Airport (DEN)1,041
9Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)985
10John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)974
11Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)817
12Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)803
13Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)740
14Spokane International Airport (GEG)701
15Indianapolis International Airport (IND)642
16Boise Airport (BOI)638
17Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR)633
18LaGuardia Airport (LGA)575
19Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF)571
20Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)518
21Dane County Regional Airport (MSN)516
22Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC)510
23Epply Field (OMA)507
24John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)494
25Kansas City International Airport (MCI)493

Delta Air Lines relaunches Asia service from MSP Airport to Seoul this week

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) made this announcement:

Delta Air Lines resumed its nonstop service between Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Seoul-Incheon International Airport (ICN) this week, the first of two Asia routes to return since they were paused at the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Delta’s nonstop service to Seoul marks the 25th international flight out of 30 to return to MSP. The ICN flight is the longest international route from MSP at more than 6,200 miles and a flight duration of more than 12 hours. Delta’s service to Tokyo-Haneda Airport, is tentatively set to restart in late March 2023.

MSP’s service to ICN began in April 2019 after the MSP Regional Air Service Partnership (RASP), a collaborative air service development initiative between the MAC and GREATER MSP, identified the route as a major need for the region’s business community.

A350 soaring above the clouds

Delta’s MSP-ICN route is initially operating three times per week and will increase to daily service on October 29. The flight uses a flagship Airbus A350-900 aircraft that accommodates more than 300 passengers with a choice of four experiences –Delta One Suites, Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+ and Main Cabin.

MSP’s overall recovery in passengers is 75%-80% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Top Copyright Photo: Delta Air Lines Airbus A350-941 N511DN (msn 210) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 954363.

Delta Air Lines aircraft photo gallery (Airbus):


Delta to add seasonal Honolulu flights from the Minneapolis-St. Paul hub

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will launch daily seasonal service from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to Honolulu International Airport next fall.

The flight will operate beginning October 25, 2015 through March 26, 2016 using a 225-seat Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft with 25 full flat-bed seats in BusinessElite, 29 seats in Economy Comfort and 171 Economy class seats.

Copyright Photo: Norbert G. Raith/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 767-332 ER N191DN (msn 28448) arrives at the Atlanta hub.

Delta Air Lines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Slide Show

Delta to start winter seasonal service to both Montego Bay and Nassau from Minneapolis/St. Paul

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will start weekly seasonal service from the airline’s hub in Minneapolis/St. Paul to Montego Bay, Jamaica on starting on January 18, 2015 and Nassau in the Bahamas, starting 0n January 17, 2015. Flights will be operated on Airbus A320 aircraft with 150 seats, including 12 seats in Business Class, 18 Economy Comfort seats and 120 economy seats.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-212 N372NW (msn 1633) arrives at the MSP hub.

Delta Air Lines (current): AG Slide Show


Spirit Airlines announces Chicago O’Hare-Oakland service

Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has announced new nonstop service between Oakland International Airport (OAK) and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD). This new service will consist of one daily nonstop flight starting on May 1, 2014.

In other news, Spirit Airlines has also announced new nonstop service from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and the Thurgood Marshall Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI). This new service will consist of one daily nonstop flight in each market operating from May 1, 2014 through November 1, 2014.

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-132 N515NK (msn 2698) climbs away from the runway at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.

Spirit Airlines: AG Slide Show

Frontier to convert the Denver-Durango route to summer season only

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is suspending the Denver-Durango route on October 29, 2013 for the winter season. The intra-Colorado route is currently operated with Airbus A319s and will be restored next summer according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 N934FR (msn 2287) with L.J., the Baby Lynx, prepares to land at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

Frontier Airlines (2nd): AG Slide Show

Delta to connect Dickinson, ND with the Minneapolis/St. Paul hub

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) will add two daily flights between Dickinson’s Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport in Dickinson, North Dakota and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, effective on June 10, 2013.

The new service will be operated by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines (St. George) using 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets. Last year, Delta also added service to Williston, N.D., where the Bakken oil reserves were first discovered.

The new market is growing due to the local expanding gas and oil industry.

Delta’s two daily flights between Dickinson and Minneapolis are scheduled as follows:

Dickinson to Minneapolis-St. Paul

Departs Arrives Service Begins
7:45 a.m. 10:19 a.m. June 10, 2013
11:50 a.m. 2:23 p.m. June 10, 2013

Minneapolis-St. Paul to Dickinson

Departs Arrives Service Begins
10:15 a.m. 11:02 a.m. June 10, 2013
 5:30 p.m. 6:16 p.m. June 10, 2013

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. SkyWest’s CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N447SW (msn 7677) is pictured in action at Long Beach.

Delta Air Lines: AG Slide Show

Delta Connection-SkyWest: AG Slide Show


Frontier Airlines will outsource its jobs at all stations except the Denver hub

Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) according to the Denver Post will outsource 700 jobs at all of its outlying stations except the Denver hub. This will impact gate agents, ticket counter agents and ramp employees.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Frontier is also phasing out the remaining Airbus A318s. A318-111 N807FR (msn 2276) approaches the runway at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Frontier Airlines: AG Slide Show


Pinnacle Airlines to move its headquarters from Memphis to Minneapolis/St. Paul

Pinnacle Airlines Corporation logo-1

Pinnacle Airlines Corporation (Memphis) has announced its headquarters will relocate to Minnesota. The decision came after an exhaustive evaluation of the most cost-effective option as the Company emerges from Chapter 11. The present headquarters location in Memphis, Tennessee was also evaluated.

Pinnacle’s operation will be located in vacant space leased by Delta Air Lines on Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport property.

Pinnacle presently occupies 170,000 square feet at One Commerce Square in downtown Memphis, which houses approximately 500 employees. Tentative plans call for the move to Minnesota to be completed by May 2013.

PAC is the holding company of Pinnacle Airlines (Memphis) and previously of Colgan Air (2nd) which was shut down in September 2012. Pinnacle Airlines now flies exclusively as a Delta Connection carrier. Since Memphis is a smaller hub for Delta, Pinnacle will have more work at Delta’s MSP larger hub.

The company was established in February 1985 as Express Airlines I and started a code sharing and feeder agreement with Republic Airlines in May 1985. Republic was the dominant carrier in Memphis.

Delta Connection-Pinnacle Airlines: AG Slide Show