How do you clean your freight aircraft..? With a ladder and a very long brush, of course. But if you’ve been fretting about how to keep your planes clean and be kind to the environment at the same time, and who doesn’t wrangle with that one occasionally, maybe you can learn a thing or two from FedEx.
FedEx Express has starting use a new fuselage cleaning procedure for the 13 aircraft serving Europe from its Roissy-Charles De Gaulle hub.
The Eco-Shine moist cleaning method developed by the UUDS Group is more environmentally friendly than other, more conventional solutions, according to FedEx. Cleaning crews use ad hoc brooms equipped with microfiber rags to apply an anti-static biodegradable, non-toxic and non-flammable cleaning product to the exterior of the aircraft. The same procedure is used to wipe off the cleaning solution, using 100 times less water than with conventional aircraft fuselage cleaning methods.
Because this simple and worldwide-tested cleaning procedure is done by hand it creates more local jobs, which are accessible via a training done by UUDS.
“Following the cleaning, the surface of the fuselage is smoother, making the aircraft more aerodynamic, which in turn reduces fuel consumption,” said Alain Chaillé, vice president, Operations, Southern Europe for FedEx.
Cleaning is even more crucial during the winter because the glycol used during the de-icing process attracts more dirt to the fuselage.
”Because no water is being sprayed onto the tarmac, crews can clean the planes where they park, which eliminates the need to move them to a separate area and allows us to perform cleaning and maintenance at the same time,” Chaillé added.
Consequently, the planes are out of service for a shorter period of time. The cleaning process can be broken down into steps and performed on a continuous basis so that the aircraft stay clean.