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Coronavirus Pandemic

Combating coronavirus: Boeing tests ultraviolet disinfection for plane cabins

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on June 9, 2020
boeing, coronavirus, covid19, ultraviolet disinfection

(Reuters file)

Boeing has launched CTI to work with airlines, global regulators, and industry stakeholders.

Boeing on Tuesday said it is testing ultraviolet disinfection of plane's cabins to ensure that aircraft are free from viruses and bacteria.

It also stated that the air in the cabins is as safe as that of a hospital and is recirculated and filtered.

"Cabin air is constantly exchanged and recirculated with a mix of outside air and inside filtered air. This air exchange happens about every two to three minutes. High-efficiency particulate air (Hepa) filter have been 99.9 per cent effective at removing particulates such as viruses, bacteria and fungi from recirculated air," said Jim Haas, director of product marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

In the cabin, air flows from the ceiling to floor, not front to back, which helps minimise particulates spreading throughout the cabin, he said, adding that the same air filters are used in the cabins which are used in hospitals, hence, ensuring that air quality is clean, safe and free from viruses and bacteria.

Boeing has launched Confident Travel Initiative (CTI) to work with airlines, global regulators, industry stakeholders, infectious disease experts and many other specialists to establish industry-recognized safety recommendations to increase safety for air travel and raise confidence levels among the flying public. A key part of CTI is clean cabin air and other technologically advanced solutions.

He also pointed out that Boeing is studying the viability of different ultraviolet (UV) applications and is also developing prototype UV wand which will go on trial in the near future.

"We are in a prototype development and testing it later this year. If proved successfully, we'll will use it commercially. We are developing a self-disinfecting laboratory which has ultraviolet rays. After the passenger uses it, the door will close and it will disinfect itself. It is still in prototype phase and we hope to build it in a couple of years," Haas added.

"We are also testing off-the-shelf anti-microbial paints as well as concurrently assessing OTS clear spray coatings to ensure that the virus doesn't stay at surface," he added.

"Passengers are looking at a safe and predictable experience. We are confident to get there as different organizations are asking for the same thing - consistent travel experience. We are also working with other aircraft manufacturers to ensure consistent experience for travellers," Haas said during a virtual press conference held on Tuesday morning.

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