Boeing Co said on Friday it is developing a hand-held wand that emits ultraviolet light to neutralize bacteria and viruses, part of a suite of methods to disinfect flight deck surfaces and controls, as well as surfaces throughout the cabin.
Concerns by airline workers and passengers about the spread of COVID-19 has fueled a rush by companies to roll out new technology for aircraft sanitization.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
The wand would eliminate the need for using alcohol or other disinfectants that could damage sensitive electronic equipment, Rae Lutters, chief engineer for Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program, told a media briefing.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app
Boeing is looking at licensing the technology and hiring third-party companies in the fall to begin manufacturing the wands for commercial use, it said.
Boeing has been working on the technology with 13 different airlines. Doug Christensen, a Boeing technical fellow leading testing of the wand prototype, cited “very strong interest” as carriers think about restoring confidence in flying as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
Under heightened cleaning practices, many airlines have started using electrostatic disinfectants, which kill viruses on contact, as well as an anti-microbial spray that forms a coating for 30 days.
Boeing is also testing an anti-microbial coating for aircraft surfaces.
- Coronavirus: Ryanair to cut significantly fewer jobs after pay deals with staff
- Coronavirus: Ryanair boss says airline will fly through UK’s ‘rubbish’ quarantine
- Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia installs PPE, sanitizer vending machines in Riyadh airport
- Coronavirus: Dubai airports to sell face masks, gloves, sanitizer in vending machines