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A full report of any maintenance issues, such as broken seats or toilets, must be reported to maintenance teams. Some of the other services OCS carries out to ensure the aircraft is clean and comfortable for the next passenger, are toilet and water servicing, providing toilet kits, replenishing headsets and laundry services. For some airlines, when the pilot needs it, OCS even cleans the exterior windows of the cockpit and this work will be carried out from an aerial work platform by a specially trained operative.


While the scale of the task — from servicing small passenger jets to the A380 — and the size of the OCS teams vary from four to 22 depending on aircraft size, the biggest challenge is consistently the same: the amount of time to carry out the job. This safe clean service is repeated again and again throughout the day for each plane landing at its exact allotted time – or not, as the case may be.


Delays to scheduled fl ight times and weather demands can all have a huge logistical impact on ensuring that the necessary vehicles, equipment and staff are in the right place at the right time. Aircraft appearance teams


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need to be fully trained and skilled in working fl exibly and smartly, so as not to impose any further delays, enabling the airline to re-board its new passengers and take off on time. However, as a secure, professional service is of the utmost importance, OCS staff must be able to package this with the total assurance that safety is never compromised.


The knock-on effect of unpredictable external factors also means that aircraft appearance teams frequently fi nd themselves rubbing shoulders with a whole host of other people who are vying for space and time to get their own job done: the airline caterer bringing on food trolleys, the maintenance engineers fi xing seats, and the loading and unloading of the baggage handlers. Here, once again, the task requires an additional set of key skills which include teamwork, communication and co-operation.


While many budget airlines by their very nature, require their cabin crews to carry out cabin cleaning services, OCS’s experience of grooming large passenger aircraft has led success to breed success. When Singapore Airlines brought the fi rst A380 Airbus to the UK early in 2008, OCS made cleaning history as the fi rst British


support services company with the capability of cleaning the aircraft.


OCS created a tailored cleaning solution which began with a survey of the unique cabin layout in Singapore. They invested in hi-lift access equipment which was purpose built to meet the 8m upper deck sill height, and all staff training took place using a specially prepared video and samples of A380 passenger comforts. When the inaugural fl ight landed at LHR, the OCS team successfully serviced the A380 in a turnaround of just under one hour –- and it was the fi rst time they had ever set foot on the plane!


This proven partnership approach to providing innovative and reliable solutions for the aviation sector has resulted in 500% growth at one of London’s other main airports. Just over two years ago, OCS’s activities at Gatwick Airport were confi ned to a single aircraft cleaning contract with British Airways; now, the company provides services to over 20 airlines.


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TRANSPORT CLEANING | 45


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