Cleaner Planes Equal Cleaner Environment

Southwest Airlines is helping to keep its planes and the environment clean using a system called EcoPower.

EcoPower is an engine cleaning service, much like a mobile car wash. Operators go to the airport and clean the plane's engine while it sits on the tarmac.

"It's a closed-lube system that uses pure water to give a very effective wash that reduces the fuel burn of the engine," said EcoPower spokesman Anupam Bhargava.

 The system then recycles and reuses the water to clean other engines.

Ecopower not only extends the life of the plane's engine, but cuts down on fuel cost and harmful CO2 emissions.

"Saving the environment is extremely important to Southwest," airline spokesperson Marilee McGuiness said. "This is just one thing we can do in that area."

Southwest has been using the system since 2007. Each plane is cleaned twice a year.

The airline estimates in just one year the company was able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100 million pounds, which is equivalent to taking 10,000 cars off of the streets.

The system is also used at DFW International.

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