Nov. 9, 2020

The FAA recently published guidance for aircraft owners and operators of transport category airplanes with respect to disinfection airplane interiors. The guidance is meant to help aircraft owners and operators vet the abundance of disinfection products and services available due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) NM-20-17, Aircraft Interior Disinfection, explains that improper use of disinfecting chemicals can lead to a number of negative impacts, including corrosion, embrittlement, increased flammability and electrical short circuits.

The guidance notes, “although the Environmental Protection Agency publishes a list of disinfectants effective at inactivating COVID-19, the majority of the products listed may not be suitable for use on aircraft, except in very limited and localized application.”

The SAIB recommends following aircraft manufacturer’s disinfection guidelines, though disinfection is not considered by the FAA to be a maintenance function.

“This SAIB echoes NBAA’s current guidance regarding aircraft interior disinfection, highlighting the need for operators to do their own research, assess their risk and make sure the products they choose do not do any short-term or long-term damage to their aircraft interior,” said Stewart D’Leon, NBAA’s director of technical operations. “The SAIB offers aircraft owners and operators guidance on what to look for and how to ask the right questions about disinfection products to ensure safe use of these products.”

NBAA provides a number of resources for aircraft operators, including Aircraft Disinfection and Cleaning Procedures, which is guidance produced by NBAA and committee volunteers.

Learn more at NBAA’s Aircraft Disinfection for the Coronavirus page.