Maintenance Tips for Aircraft Stepladders Used in Runway Stopovers

airplane stairs leading up to door.
Photo by Max Harlynking on Unsplash

In both the commercial and business aerospace sectors, aircraft stepladders are used to help passengers embark and disembark when an aircraft land during a stopover. It is imperative that these stepladders are in excellent condition each time they are used to ensure passenger safety at all times.

It is therefore of the utmost importance that specialist suppliers are considered in seeking out a high-quality, durable aircraft step ladder for both aircraft maintenance and passenger boarding.

Before any stepladder is used, airport staff must check that it is suitable for the task in hand, and in a good state of repair. Aircraft stepladders should only be used if they meet the following criteria:

  • Show no visible flaws – pre-use checks should be carried out every day, if not prior to every use.
  • Have a current log of thorough visual examinations conducted frequently by a qualified individual available.

Visual inspection as part of a routine maintenance, is like pre-use inspections, are done on-site by trained Airport cleaning and maintenance personnel to ensure there isn’t any defect.

During an inspection, be sure to ensure that:

  • ladder feet are not in poor condition or have been used extensively
  • stiles that are not bent, twisted or dented
  • steps are not damaged, aged, warped or unsteady 
  • tie rods that are present and have not been broken
  • there are no broken or faulty welded connections, loose rivets, or damaged support bars

Checks and inspections – as outlined in the information that comes with the equipment – should always be made before attaching or using stepladders. 

  • Make sure the equipment is clean and dry of oil, mud, grease or other substances before and after every use, to avoid making the steps or rungs slippery. 
  • Do not drop the equipment. Ladders affected by a heavy blow are liable to suffer damage, have steps or rungs loosened or become deformed at the stiles.

Tips for Cleaning Aircraft Stepladders

Keeping aircraft stepladders clean and clear of loose debris is extremely important.

Start with a Scrub

To remove surface dirt, take a scrubbing brush and a bucket of warm soapy water. Scrub the ladder or alternatively use a pressure washer to remove any loose debris. Ensure that you do not forget to clean each step, rung, and handrail.

Use a Commercial Cleaner

The most effective cleaning product for your oxidised aluminium ladder is a commercial cleaning acid. Soak the ladder with the solution for 5-10 minutes to let it work its magic. You should notice that the acid is starting to remove the oxidation from the surface of the aluminium. Dry the stepladder thoroughly to prevent rust. After cleaning the stepladder, it is crucial to apply lubricant to all the moving components to guarantee they work effectively and are suitable for use.

Summing Up

Proper maintenance of airport stepladders is crucial for stopovers, ensuring the safety of both airport staff and passengers. By following the maintenance advice we have provided above, your aircraft stepladders should remain in excellent condition for many years to come.

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Brenda Coles
I'm an elementary school teacher who became a stay-at-home mother when my first child was born. I love to write about lifestyle, education, and news-related topics.