Aircraft disinfection is now commonly known as Aircraft COVID-19 disinfection service. Due to the current global breakout of COVID-19, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and WHO has published several recommendations on aircraft disinfection procedures and services to ensure the safety of passengers and crew on board.
The primary function of aircraft disinfection and its related sanitization services is to prevent the transmission and spread of coronavirus in the enclosed aircraft cabins. The airlines and flight service operators now have obligatory requirements to disinfect and deep sanitize their aircraft cabins from coronavirus using those recommended disinfection procedures.
Should You Clean or Disinfect Your Aircraft?
The first thing you’ll want to know is that cleaning and disinfecting are two very different things. Cleaning is about removing contaminants from a surface but aircraft disinfecting is about killing pathogens coronavirus.
Coronavirus transmission is not only through person-to-person but also the recent studies have shown that it can be transmitted through hard surfaces. Of course, the aircraft hard surfaces are no exception to the rule.
Aircraft Preventative Disinfection
Preventative disinfection should be carried out after the aircraft is cleaned.
Preventative disinfection should be done on a regular basis, at least once a week, for low-risk flights; and every time after flight for medium and high-risk flights. An assessment of the effect of post-flight disinfection may be carried out for high-risk flights if conditions allow.
Separate rags and mops should be used for the aisle, lavatory, and gallery, and mark them with different colors to avoid cross-contamination. Different personnel should be tasked with each of the aforementioned areas when conditions allow.
During disinfection, surfaces should be rubbed using rags soaked with disinfectant, after a period of time for reaction, the regular cleaning process should be finished, to avoid erosive effect on cabin component due to long time exposure to the disinfectant.
A disinfectant should be sprayed to the cabin floor from the front to the back, then key areas should be disinfected. Once cabin disinfection is finished, a disinfectant should be sprayed to the cabin floor again from the back to the front.
Key Areas of Aircraft Disinfection in Case of Coronavirus Outbreak
Aircraft Aisle Disinfection
Ceiling, overhead bins, reading lights, air outlets, sidewall panels, windows, seats (tray tables, armrests, passenger control units, decorative panels), cabinets/lockers, bulkheads, magazine racks, cabin attendant seats.
Aircraft Lavatory Disinfection
The disinfection in lavatory should be progressed from contaminated to clean areas, as follow: toilet bowls, waste bins, basins, lavatory sidewall, ceiling, door assembly (door surfaces, doorknobs, ashtrays, if installed, and latches).
Aircraft Gallery Disinfection
Ceiling, ovens, water boilers, coffee makers, galley facilities, lockers/drawers, waste bins.