AIRCRAFT DISINFECTION

AIRCRAFT DISINFECTION

Disinfection refers to specific measures taken to control, deactivate or kill infectious agents, such as viruses and bacteria.
Disinfection is normally undertaken on an infrequent basis, during periodic maintenance checks or after a public health event, such as the suspected carriage of an infectious passenger. Disinfection is usually preceded by cleaning of the affected area.

Possible routes of infection transmission that might occur on board aircraft fall into three categories:

  1. Directly inhaled respiratory droplets, suspended airborne particles, or both;
  2. Direct contact with fecal matter, blood or other body fluids;
  3. Contact with respiratory secretions, fecal matter or body fluids deposited on surfaces or, for maintenance crews, entrained in ventilation systems.
Routine cleaning programme the following factors should be considered when designing a programme for routine cleaning:
  • Programmes for routine cleaning should take into account the type (e.g. passenger or cargo), size and ground time (stopover time) of aircraft.
  • An example of an aircraft routine cleaning schedule can be found in Annex F; the physical areas for which cleaning is specified in Annex F should be so included in the aircraft operator’s cleaning programme.
  • Aircraft operators should be prepared to adjust their routine cleaning programmes if a public health risk is detected and/or if advised to do so by public health authorities.
  • Information concerning aircraft cleaning and disinfection should be available to those concerned, upon request.
  • Precautionary cleaning of certain targeted areas of the aircraft, including the use of disinfectant products, may be advised by the public health authority if certain diseases of concern (e.g. norovirus or cholera) are prevalent at the departure points.
Disinfection Guidelines
  1. Standard operational procedures are documented and in place for timely application of disinfection procedures, according to technical requirements, and are subject to periodic revision based on emerging evidence of efficacy.
  2. An appropriate number of trained personnel are available, taking into account the type (e.g. passenger or cargo), size and ground time (stopover time) of aircraft and disinfection procedures.
  3. Personal protective equipment and techniques are used by personnel, and related equipment is available.
  4. Disinfection equipment and supplies are available, taking into account the type (e.g. passenger or cargo), size and ground time (stopover time) of aircraft and disinfection procedures.

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