With fleets of aircraft grounded due to the COVID-19 crisis, companies need to consider the risk of long-term damage due to uncontrolled humidity levels.
With the pandemic having a marked effect on demand for flights, more aircraft than ever are being grounded for cost-effective preservation. However, without an adequate moisture control strategy to protect critical components, electrical technology and structures, the condition of these aircraft could soon deteriorate, according to Aggreko.
If left unchecked, high-humidity conditions could lead to otherwise avoidable consequences for fleet owners and operators, including extended vehicle reactivation timescales, and increased operating and commissioning costs. Uncontrolled humidity and temperature levels in storage can also impact maintenance projects such as re-coating aircraft, which requires a controlled environment to ensure coatings do not fail.
By using ground-based dehumidification systems and associated distribution trunking to achieve sufficient air circulation and maintain optimum conditions, these vehicles can instead be protected against such concerns. Implementing monitoring systems to record and alert on conditions within storage areas also allows vehicle owners full transparency and peace-of-mind that the right parameters are being maintained at all times.
“The coronavirus has hugely impacted both the aerospace and shipping industries on a previously unprecedented scale,” says Ryan Stanley, moisture control specialist at Aggreko. “This collapse in demand has often meant fleet owners and operators have had no choice but to place their vehicles in storage.
“However, this presents its own problems – namely, that if the climatic conditions around these craft are not controlled, these vehicles could become impaired over a prolonged period of time. In turn, companies already hit commercially by the pandemic could suffer a second blow as they take steps to resume regular operations.
“Through the controlled dehumidification of internal spaces, including void spaces between machinery and pipelines, we can prevent issues including sweating, rust, humidity corrosion damage, condensation and moisture absorption. Applying and continually monitoring optimum temperature and moisture control parameters also enables necessary maintenance to be carried out while these craft are in storage.
“Consequently, these important assets can be protected while idle, and quickly activated when they need to be required once more. Not doing so may result in unnecessary works in the future that could lead to financial and reputational issues for vehicle owners.”