Line Maintenance
Go clean – Go green

As a responsible corporate citizen, HAECO Hong Kong constantly reviews its operations and strives to minimise its impact on the environment. In December 2018, the company launched its “dry wash” aircraft exterior cleaning technique on a United Airlines aircraft. The dry wash technique significantly reduces water consumption, and over time will bring considerable benefits for HAECO, for airlines and for HKIA. Starting in May this year, HAECO Hong Kong extended the dry wash service to cover the Cathay Pacific fleet.


Traditional exterior washing - “wet wash” - can use up to 8,000 litres of water per aircraft. By contrast, dry washing, which employs biodegradable, non-toxic detergent, can save 90% of the water normally used for each wash - equivalent to a saving of more than 860,000 litres of water a year.


For airlines, the dry wash has the advantage of keeping the aircraft clean for a longer period of time. The cleaning agents used are more effective at removing insects, oil stains and other dirt from the aircraft’s exterior, and after washing, the chemicals dry to form a coating on the fuselage, which enhances dirt resistance and so reduces the frequency of wash required. Unlike wet washing, the dry wash technique means that airlines can request partial cleaning of a particular part of an aircraft, which saves on both the cost and time spent on washing the aircraft.


In June this year, HAECO received approval from the Airport Authority Hong Kong to carry out dry washing on the majority of the airport’s maintenance aprons and west cargo aprons. More than 30 bays are now approved for dry washing in addition to the existing nine dedicated wash bays. This means a shorter tow for aircraft and therefore less jet fuel consumption by the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit, as well as less ground traffic at the airport.


The dry wash technique represents a significant win for HAECO, its airline customers and the environment and the company will continue to explore its application as a part of its strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability of its business.