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I was reading about plane de-icing the other day, and someone posted a comment saying that was their job, and when no planes needed de-icing they just slept/waited in the de-icing truck.

I was looking just now at de-icing jobs, and found one at heathrow that said it was a permanent 40-hour/week job.

So what do they actually do during summer? Do they do a different job or do they just wait in case a random (unlikely) snow storm passes by?

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This job listing for a de-icer is a 40-hour per week full time job. Note, however, that it includes "Interior Cleaning" as a substantial part of the job description, including "Removing all rubbish from bins, seat pockets and floors; Replace old seat pocket literature; Clean all lap trays, armrests & windows; Clean toilets & toilet pans; Hoover aircraft" ...and the list continues. I think this answers your question, but since I know little else about the de-icing crew's role I will refrain from publishing my ignorance. – Jonathan Walters Jan 24 at 2:36
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I also see a lot of temp job listings for aircraft de-icers that would be seasonal work. – Jonathan Walters Jan 24 at 2:40
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Just for info, I landed in Kilimanjaro the other day, which is a tropical weather airport and before taking off for the second leg they had to deice the wings. The captain said that the atmospheric temperature was so cold that it cooled down the fuel and when we landed this caused ice to form on the wings. outside temp was 27C on the ground. So I think they still do their job but not as much as in winter. – Fabrizio Mazzoni Jan 24 at 4:08
    
I don't think it's the case, but some ski instructors switch hemispheres at the right times so they "stay in the winter". – orique Jan 27 at 6:14
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Most de-icers are run by the airport FBO so the people who work on de-icing in the winter work on other FBO duties such as refueling and the like when there is no de-icing to do. Some de-icers are just hired permanently for winter times.

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Do you have any references for your information? I believe that most airlines employ their own de-ice crews. Many FBOs probably offer de-ice services as well. However, I would argue that the majority of de-ice personnel are hired for the purpose of de-icing part 121 aircraft. Also, your last sentence doesn't make sense to me. – Jonathan Walters Jan 24 at 2:30
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It may sound odd, but "permanent seasonal" is a thing - you're on the payroll year-round, but you only work certain months. – T.J.L. Jan 24 at 2:59
    
@JonathanWalters I think what he meant to say was, some de-icers are just hired permanently for places that are cold all year-round, like Alaska. I'm from a warm place so it took me a minute too. – DrZ214 Jan 24 at 7:39
    
The permanent seasonal is possible. I find Alaska doubtful since much of the inhabited part of the state is really not cold year round. – Jonathan Walters Jan 24 at 13:45
    
@JonathanWalters That's hard to personally believe since I'm from Florida and "cold" and "really not cold" can be taken relatively. I would personally be pretty scared to takeoff in Alaska without deicing even if it was summer. – DrZ214 Jan 26 at 4:56

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