KLM Engineering at Norwich Airport

The Problem

Norwich Airport is KLM Engineering’s UK base for aircraft maintenance.    Prior to commencing planned maintenance, the aircraft needs to be cleaned in the landing gear bays to remove all traces of oils, hydraulic fluids and grime.   The current cleaning facility is external and thus exposed to all UK weather conditions.   Inclement weather, particularly during winter months, makes this cleaning operation both unpleasant and hazardous for the maintenance staff.   Below zero temperatures when cleaning is scheduled can delay aircraft washdowns, leading to expensive delays in planes completing planned maintenance.


The Solution

Moving aircraft washdowns inside one of the maintenance hangars would eliminate these problems, provided that a method could be found to contain fluids used in the cleaning operation.   By installing specially designed Enpac SpillPal Berms under both main landing gear and nose landing gear openings in the aircraft prior to washdown commencing enabled all cleaning fluids to be contained within the berms and safely disposed of, thus ensuring that the hangar floor remained dry once the berms were removed.

Three Enpac SpillPal Berms in Heavy Duty fabric were used in this operation, each measuring 3.7m x 4.6m with a side wall of 11cm high.   KLM maintenance staff calculated that this size would enable them to deal with aircraft from small planes up to the Boeing 737 type.   Ground Pads were deployed under each berm to prevent damage to the underside of the berm from small objects which may be on the floor.  The berms were deployed once the aircraft were jacked up so that the berms could be slid underneath the landing gear wheels.   Each berm takes 10 – 15 minutes to deploy and once in use cleaning fluids were removed from the berm using the QVAC liquid vacuum pump.

For more information on Enpac’s SpillPal Berm go to www.enpac.co.uk