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Static dischargers have high electrical resistance, and work via corona discharge.

So if I understand correctly, what wicks do is limit the voltage that the aircraft builds up. But as the wick is ionizing the air around, I guess this voltage is rather high.

Do commercial, fixed-wing aircraft need any additional grounding method once on the ground, when the passengers are boarding/unboarding for example?. How it's done?

Related: This question is about grounding for hangar storage, and also explains grounding for refueling operations

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    $\begingroup$ This question is currently broad, as the methods differ depending on the use case. For example, helicopters vs. airplanes, in flight vs. on the ground, etc. It would probably be helpful to narrow this down a bit. $\endgroup$ – reirab Mar 31 '16 at 19:54
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    $\begingroup$ @reirab but the question already explicitly limits the scope to comercial, fixed-wing aircraft [...] once on the ground $\endgroup$ – Federico Mar 31 '16 at 20:22
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    $\begingroup$ @Federico Well, that part specifically said "for example." The static wicks mentioned in the title don't really apply to that scenario. If the question is just about that part, then I agree that it would be sufficiently narrow, but the question should be reworded (and retitled) to indicate that. The existing answers don't seem to have read it as being limited to that scenario, either. $\endgroup$ – reirab Mar 31 '16 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Federico commercial, fixed wing aircraft could encompass the vast majority of aircraft produced. Commercial is an undefined, very broad adjective when applied to aircraft types. The question could be narrowed to airliners or even large passenger aircraft would be helpful. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Apr 1 '16 at 1:28
  • $\begingroup$ "I guess this voltage is rather high": It is, but this is not this voltage (volts) that makes grounding desirable, it's the high number of unbalanced ions (coulombs) that can create at any moment a significant current (amperes). Our hairs create high voltages (25 kV), but the charge is insignificant, we don't need our head to be grounded :-) That's a relief. $\endgroup$ – mins Apr 1 '16 at 22:24
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Many aircraft tyres conduct electricity which also dissipates charges. The compound contains "carbon black" or graphites.

In the special case of helicopters using a hook to pick up a load from a hover, the wise ground handler will use a rod on the end of a grounded cable to earth the charge. Helicopters can build up a lot of static and many a ground handler has been left with smoking underpants by not heeding this advice.

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When fueling a grounded connection is established. Or at the very least the fuel tank is electrically bonded to the aircraft before the fuel line is connected by a clamp on a post on the landing gear.

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