February 02, 2024


Sofema Aviation Services (SAS) www.sassofia.com considers in-depth the health, safety & hygiene related to aircraft cleaning activities


Maintaining rigorous health, safety, and hygiene standards in aircraft grooming activities is essential for the well-being of passengers, crew, and ground staff.

  • It also plays a significant role in the overall perception of an airline’s commitment to passenger safety and comfort.
  • The health, safety, and hygiene considerations related to aircraft grooming activities are of paramount importance.

o Not only do they ensure the well-being of passengers and crew, but they also play a role in the overall passenger experience and perception of an airline’s brand.

Importance of Hygiene in Aviation

  • Proper hygiene ensures that the risk of transmitting contagious diseases, including the common cold, flu, and more severe illnesses like COVID-19, is minimized.
  • The health of the crew, including pilots, flight attendants, and ground staff, is paramount.
  • Airlines that maintain high standards of hygiene are likely to be preferred by travellers. A clean and hygienic environment enhances the passenger experience and can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth.

Consequences of Poor Hygiene Practices

  • The close confines of an aeroplane can facilitate the spread of diseases.

o Poor hygiene can lead to outbreaks, affecting many people in a short time.

  • Airlines might face lawsuits or penalties if passengers or crew fall ill due to negligence in maintaining hygiene.

o Additionally, they might lose business as travellers opt for competitors with better hygiene standards.

  • Failing to meet hygiene standards set by aviation authorities can lead to penalties, increased scrutiny, or even the grounding of flights.

Aircraft General Cleaning:

  • Health & Safety: Cleaning agents should be non-toxic and approved for aviation use.

o Staff should be equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks, and safety goggles.

  • Hygiene: Regular cleaning and disinfection are vital.

o High-touch areas like armrests, tray tables, and overhead bins should be cleaned more frequently.
o Use of electrostatic sprayers can ensure even coverage of disinfectants.

Potable Water Treatment:

  • Health & Safety: Only approved sources of water should be used.

o The water trucks, carts, and hoses should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

  • Hygiene: Regular testing of onboard water should be conducted to ensure it’s free from harmful pathogens.

o Water should be treated with approved disinfectants.
o The system should be periodically flushed and disinfected.

Toilet Servicing:

  • Health & Safety: Workers should wear full PPE, including:

o Splash-proof goggles,
o gloves, and aprons.

Important Note: There’s a risk of exposure to human waste, so precautions are essential.

  • Hygiene: Waste tanks should be thoroughly emptied and cleaned.

o The interior of lavatories should be cleaned and disinfected, paying special attention to high-touch surfaces.

Cabin Cleaning:

  • Health & Safety: Ensure proper ventilation when using cleaning agents.

o Staff should be trained on the correct use and disposal of cleaning materials.

  • Hygiene: Carpets should be vacuumed, and seats should be cleaned and disinfected.

o In-flight magazines and safety cards should either be replaced or cleaned.
o Air filters, especially HEPA filters in modern aircraft, should be checked and replaced as needed.

Lavatory Cleaning:

  • Health & Safety: Given the confined space, ensure that cleaning agents don’t pose inhalation risks. PPE is a must.
  • Hygiene: All surfaces, including the sink, faucet, door handles, and flush button, should be cleaned and disinfected.

o Waste bins should be emptied, and soap and tissue dispensers should be refilled.

Galley Cleaning:

  • Health & Safety: Ensure that cleaning agents are safe for areas where food and beverages are prepared.

o Electrical equipment should be turned off and isolated during cleaning.

  • Hygiene: All surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected.

o Refrigeration units should be checked for correct temperatures and cleanliness.
o Coffee makers, water boilers, and other equipment should be cleaned according to manufacturer guidelines.

General Considerations:

  • Training: All staff involved in aircraft grooming should receive regular training on health, safety, and hygiene protocols.
  • Audits & Inspections: Regular audits and inspections should be conducted to ensure compliance with established protocols.
  • Waste Management: Proper disposal of waste, especially hazardous waste, is crucial.

o This includes used PPE, cleaning rags, and any other materials that might be contaminated.

Next Steps

Follow this link to our Library to find & download related documents for Free.

Please see the following training course: Aircraft Servicing, Cleaning, and Detailing – 2 Days. For questions or comments please email team@sassofia.com


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