De-icing is a shambles at LHR.
It is never clear to me whether it is BAA or BA which is responsible for de-icing; it is certainly BAA which designed T5.
In BAA’s defence, while it is not ideal that T5 faces whatever issue with deicing larger aircraft at the stands, ice and snow at LHR is very much the exception rather than the rule.
Given that smaller aircraft can be de-iced at stand, it suggests it’s simply an issue of space, and being crammed into the space between the two parallel runways there is little anyone can do about this. It would certainly be my preference to cram as many stands into a terminal for the 350 days per annum when there is no snow, rather than remove one or two stands to permit larger aircraft to be de-iced at stand on the few days per year this is required.
Further, on a flight from Dusseldorf a few days ago, the plane was de-iced remotely as you described being the case at LHR, so that procedure is not uncommon.
In fact doing it this way makes more sense as it’s probably about the most efficient way of performing this activity:
1. The truck can be kept full up of de-icing agent, near its depot
2. Trucks don’t waste time driving from stand to stand
3. It reduces the time between completing de-icing and taking off, which is obviously safer
4. It reduces the potential need to be de-iced a second time
Always good to see all sides of the story….