A maintenance runner protects the aircraft floor from heavy foot traffic during maintenance events, keeping dust, dirt, and debris off the carpet. It is also helpful in keeping rain and snow from being tracked on the carpet during inclement weather.
While keeping the runner permanently in place to protect the carpet may be tempting, its purpose is not for use during flight. After maintenance is complete and bad weather has passed, runners should be pulled off the floor before a flight.
At Duncan Aviation, we have witnessed aircraft arriving for service with a maintenance runner used as a permanent fixture during flights. While many operators believe they are prolonging the carpet’s life by using runners, the damage underneath tells a different story.
This damage begins when moisture seeps under the runner and cannot dry after an accidental liquid spill or inclement weather.
Runners prevent the carpet from drying completely and, over time, trapped moisture in the wool or silk carpet may mildew, rot, and smell. Once this happens, professional cleaning will not fix it and could result in bald spots. The carpet will need to be replaced.
Your carpet is meant to be walked on. Use it as intended without a runner and schedule regular cleanings by a professional. As a best practice, we recommend using runners only during maintenance events and bad weather, and then, removing them immediately.
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