Aircraft Cleaning and Washing Basics

When learning how to wash and clean airplanes, there are many things that are quite different than the cleaning of other objects like cars and trucks for instance.

What about actual washing or spraying of aircraft; for example, not spraying directly on the aircraft windows?

Water used to wash aircraft contains detergents and traces of oils, hydrocarbons and solvents. These substances are pollutants and must not be directed to storm water.

Pollutants entering the storm water network eventually make their way out to the ocean where they cause damage to plant and animal life

Aircraft Washing Procedures

• Use a high pressure hose and if possible waterless wash aircraft

• Use a biodegradable, phosphate free detergent

• Use the minimal amount of detergent

• Wastewater is to be recovered from aircraft washing using bunding equipment and a wet vacuum or similar equipment

• Operators must dispose of wash water at a suitable location off Airport in accordance with the SA Water Trade Waste General Policy

• Operators are to ensure they have a SA Water Level 3 Water Restriction Permit for aircraft washing. Application forms can be downloaded from the SA Water website

• Operators must have (MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET) MSDS information readily available for products used in washing

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