Boeing partners with Healthe to produce UV wand to fight Covid-19
UAE national airline Etihad Airways was the first to evaluate the device that will be available before the end of this year
Aircraft maker Boeing has joined forces with Florida-based technology company Healthe to design and develop an ultraviolet wand designed to clean and disinfect the interiors of airplanes.
This is part of the Chicago-based company’s Confident Travel Initiative (CTI) to enhance the safety and well-being of passengers and crews during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The UV wand is designed to be more effective than similar devices. It quickly disinfects surfaces on an airplane and further strengthens other layers of protection for passengers and crew," said Mike Delaney, who leads Boeing's CTI efforts.
Boeing spent six months transforming an idea for the wand into a working model and Healthe will now take that prototype and make it available to the world at large, said Mr Delaney.
This technology will be available for airlines before the end of this year. Healthe will produce and distribute the commercial wand, helping airlines combat the coronavirus.
The device is an addition to sanitising and protective measures already in place, which include the use of high-efficiency particulate air filters that trap more than 99.9 per cent of particulates and prevent them from re-circulating back to the cabin.
"We are proud to be assisting Boeing as they work with their partner airlines to enhance in-cabin plane sanitisation efforts,” said Abe Morris, Healthe’s executive chairman.
“This could also benefit schools, hospitals, offices, wherever pathogens go,” he added.
The UV wand uses 222 nanometre ultraviolet light that, research indicates, kills pathogens effectively. Crews can pass UV light over high-touch surfaces, sanitising everywhere the light reaches.
It is particularly effective in compact spaces and sanitises a flight deck in less than 15 minutes, Boeing said.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways was the first to evaluate the device, and the UV wand was demonstrated on the Etihad 787-10 ecoDemonstrator airplane last month.
The global aviation industry is reeling from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic that has decimated air travel demand. The worst crisis in the industry's history has caused airlines to slash schedules, cut jobs, ground aircraft, defer plane orders and seek financial aid packages from their governments.
In the wake of the pandemic, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) has announced to hold its 76th annual general meeting online on November 24.
“This will be one of our most important AGMs … the industry is in the deepest crisis in its history,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general and chief executive.
“It is more important than ever for the industry to have this meeting serve as a rallying call of resilience as we find solutions to safely open borders and re-establish global connectivity,” added Mr Juniac.
Updated: September 25, 2020 06:34 PM