If you are thinking about cleaning aircraft or beginning that kind of business, it is necessary to get to know the significance of environmental regulations. To begin with, I can ensure that many questions will arise in your mind and you may be eager to know that lots of airports have various National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits, or NPDES.
Follow the rules, pick up the waste water runoff as it puddles, vacu-boom it into a tank, take it to the wash rack and discharge it there. Some airports only allow washing at the wash racks due to their NPDES permits. If hangar'ed sometimes we do not use pressure washers when cleaning rather we wipe the aircraft off by hand. Many of our customer's aircraft are kept immaculate.
Now, you are probably wondering if these regulations would prevent you from starting your own business cleaning aircraft due to the costs. So, you'll be thinking; "This item alone seems to have the biggest impact on profits and airports which you can clean the aircraft."
Whereas it is significant, these costs are passed on, and whereas, it slows efficiency it also is a barrier to entry from would be competitors, or folks that do not have their act together or have absolutely no business being on an airport at all. These are issues you might also consider in that argument.
Sure there is a lot of BS with environmental regulations which are completely silly and onerous, most of our customers we are basically rinsing them with RO water and wiping them dry, so, the whole run-off issue is completely ridiculous, I mean it rains doesn't it? Degreasing is much different, but no airport is going to let you degrease an airplane on the flightline, unless you are in WY.
And after being in the business for some 27-years, it is my contention that our customers never get the bellies too bad, so we use squirt guns and wipe them clean. I hope you will consider all this if you are going to start an aircraft washing or cleaning service.