Disinfection Processes Ramp up in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Feb. 26, 2021

The aviation industry drastically changed its cleaning practices when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In a recent edition of the AviationPros podcast, Josh Smith, editor of Ground Support Worldwide spoke with Chris Gurreri, CEO and co-founder of Victory Innovations, to discuss how the aviation industry began implementing electrostatic sprayers in its cleaning processes.

Ground service, airline and airport personnel started using electrostatic sprayers more often at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic because of increased need to disinfect services.

“When you pour any liquid into the tank of our sprayer it’s going to have both positive and negative ions in that solution,” Gurreri said. “What we actually do is we have an electrostatic module that will turn all of those molecules that are part of the solution to be 100 percent positive. And we do that because most things that are on the Earth are either neutral or negative.

“And so just like magnets — when you played with magnets as a kid — opposite charges attract. That’s what we want to do when we’re spraying a cleaning or disinfecting solution. So, as you put a positive charge on the droplets that are being sprayed out of our sprayer and whether that surface is neutral or negative, they will have a stronger bond to that surface,” Gurreri continued.

The electrostatic method allows cleaning professionals to disinfect floors, ceilings and various kinds of surfaces within an airplane or airport.

A key advantage of the electrostatic method is how quickly airplanes can be disinfected and put back into the air. A cleaning crew sprays the chemical and waits for it to dry, also known as the dwell time.

“If I could spray an entire airplane in five minutes or less (that’s about how long it takes us to spray a school bus) and that’s every surface, every seat, all the floor, all the cockpit area and the ceilings I could do that in five minutes and then I basically have a three minute dwell time. So I can be in and out of an airplane and it can be used six or seven minutes after I start spraying,” Gurreri said.

The electrostatic sprayers are cordless and come in either handheld or backpack versions. This makes them ideal for disinfecting aircraft as well as airport terminals.

Gurreri mentioned cleaning crews don’t have to go through rigorous training to use the electrostatic sprayers. They just need to know the dwell time for the chemical their company uses. Dwell times can range from a few minutes up to ten minutes depending on what the company chooses.

“It’s just like spraying an aerosol can across all the seats, all the floors, all the baggage areas, the ceiling of the aircraft. And they literally walk through that at a relatively quick pace,” Gurreri said.

The electrostatic sprayers require little maintenance. The battery can last for up to four hours before the cleaning crew needs to recharge it.

“Other than that we do ask our customers to do is that once a week run a tank of water through the sprayer just to flush out any chemicals that may be still in there. Just so they don’t sit there over the weekend where the chemical can do damage or clog the nozzle,” Guerreri said.

To listen to the full podcast, visit AviationPros.com/21211424.