Aircraft Maintenance in the COVID-19 World

Aircraft maintenance refers to the regular performance of tasks required to ensure the lasting airworthiness of an aircraft or aircraft parts. This includes overhaul, inspections, replacement, engine fuel monitoring, aircraft tyres checks, defect rectification, modification, and adherence to airworthiness and repair guidelines. Given the ongoing global health crisis caused by the impact of COVID-19, aircraft maintenance, a profession in which workers operate in close quarters, has inevitably been affected.

Preventing the transmission of COVID-19 is critical to the smooth operation of any workforce, with aircraft maintenance operations being no exception. The virus is spread from person-to-person, most commonly between people who are in close contact with one another (within approximately six feet), or through respiratory droplets which are made airborne by coughing, sneezing, or talks. So, how can aircraft maintenance workers protect themselves and their colleagues? This blog will explain how employees and employers alike can help minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

The first thing aircraft maintenance workers can do is practice routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, always following the directions on the cleaning product’s label. Hand hygiene is also among the most important infection control measures. Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is a good alternative. Important times to clean your hands are before and after shifts & breaks, after touching frequently touched surfaces, and after removing PPE (personal protective equipment). 

The ways you can protect yourself often depend on what task you are carrying out. For aircraft interiors work, always wear PPE. Additionally, avoid using compressed air or water sprays to clean surfaces. These techniques can propel potentially infectious materials airborne and greatly increase risks of contraction. When carrying out air filter replacement, avoid hitting, dropping, or shaking the filter as well as using compressed air. Much like aerosol sprays, these methods can cause materials in the filter to enter the air. Lastly, dispose of the filter and gloves in a sealed plastic bag.

In addition to the steps every employee should take, employers must also join the effort to mitigate spread of COVID-19. Every aircraft maintenance employer should develop a health and safety plan to protect employees. First, employers should actively encourage employees to stay home if they are sick, and provide employees with information on who to contact should they become ill. It is also a good idea to designate one or more employees to be responsible for handling concerns relating to COVID-19, and let employees know they should contact this person with any concerns. Providing employees with proper PPE, training them to use it correctly, and ensuring it fits/is being worn properly are also important steps for employers to take.

These are a few things employers can do to ensure their workplace is safe for all, but staying informed about the current state of COVID-19 is just as important in preventing its spread. Further resources include the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 

At NSN Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you source all types of aircraft maintenance equipment and deliver them with some of the industry’s best lead times. Additionally, as we are the only independent distributor with a strict No China Sourcing Policy, we can ensure that each part you buy from us will come from a trusted manufacturer. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, call us at +44-142-035-8043 or email us at sales@nsnpurchasing.com.


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