Boeing designs ultraviolet wand to sanitize aircraft

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September 23, 2020
Boeing

Boeing has designed an ultraviolet wand to sanitize aircraft and has entered into a patent and technology license with Florida-based Healthe® Inc. to manufacture the device.

The ultraviolet wand is part of its Confident Travel Initiative (CTI) to support airlines and 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.”

READ: World’s first COVID-19 ratings for airlines.

Healthe will produce and distribute the commercial wand, helping airlines and potentially others combat the coronavirus pandemic. The technology could be available for airlines in late fall (November).

The device is an addition to sanitizing 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.

The UV wand uses 222-nanometer UVC light which research indicates inactivates pathogens effectively.

Using the self-contained apparatus that resembles a carry-on suitcase, crews can pass UV light over high-touch surfaces, sanitizing everywhere the light reaches. The UV wand is particularly effective in compact spaces and sanitizes a flight deck in less than 15 minutes.

Etihad Airways was the first to evaluate the device, and the UV wand was demonstrated on the Etihad 787-10 ecoDemonstrator aeroplane on Aug. 21, 2020.