Tue 24 Nov 2009 – Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has found that trials of Permagard, a polymer coating applied to the exterior of its aircraft to ensure a clean look, have demonstrated significant savings in the amount of water and fluids used in cleaning the aircraft. The airline estimates a 10 million litre water savings, or 75 percent, in 2010 from reduced cleaning, as well as 96 percent reduction in cleaning fluid – from 50,000 litres to just 2,000. Anticipated fuel efficiency improvements as a result of reduced drag during flight as a result of the Permagard coating are currently being evaluated but Etihad has nevertheless committed to having its entire fleet treated with the clear coating.
The Permagard treatment was originally introduced to help provide protection to aircraft, reflecting dirt and dust from the surface, so aircraft need to be washed less often. The treatment also eliminates the need for strong cleaning agents, which can be replaced by more environmentally friendly alternatives.
“With water scarcity a key global and regional concern, we are proud to commit to this initiative,” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive. “Etihad operates one of the youngest and most fuel efficient aircraft fleets in the world, and is actively looking at ways we can harness technology for greater fuel efficiency and environmental benefit, as we have done with Permagard.”
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