MIAMI – ATR adopts a waterless aircraft washing process, developed in-house after testing several eco-friendly methods and materials.

The aircraft manufacturer started from the principle that a classical aircraft pre-delivery washing used between 3,000 and 4,000 liters of water, a natural resource that requires more and more conservation initiatives. After working with environment teams ATR has finally succeeded to achieve this challenge.

Several processes and materials have been tested: biodegradable essential oils and re-usable dry-cleaning wipes to apply them or others using wipes together with steam. To adopt the process with the least impact on the environment, ATR established three principles to drive its choice: the nature of the chemicals used, the amount of waste generated and the energy consumed.

Video showing the washing of one aircraft at the ATR’s Saint-Martin plant with this new solution.

Reduced Environmental Impact

A ranking was also established taking into account their environmental impact, their technical efficiency and the final result on the aircraft. On this basis, a final selection was made and the choice went to essential oils and dry-cleaning re-usable wipes with the results of significantly saving water as only 30 to 40 liters are required.

Moreover, since the washing can be carried out on the FAL (Final Assembly Line), the process does not impact on other workers’ activities on the aircraft. The first delivery of an aircraft washed with this new method took place successfully on 31 March for one of our Japanese operators.

Featured image: ATR 72-600 F-WWEV. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways