Boeing innovates UV wands for aircraft sanitization

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Boeing, the American aerospace company, said that it is developing a handheld wand that emits ultraviolet light to neutralize bacteria and viruses.

The development is the part of a set of methods to disinfect surfaces and controls on the flight deck, as well as surfaces in the cabin.

Concerns of airline staff and passengers over the spread of COVID-19 has fueled a rush among companies to roll out new aircraft sanitization technology.

Rae Lutters, chief engineer for Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program, told a media briefing that the wand would prevent the need to use alcohol or other disinfectants that could harm sensitive electronic equipment.

Boeing is looking at licensing the technology and recruiting third-party firms to start manufacturing the wands for commercial use soon.

Boeing partnered with 13 different airlines on the technology.

Kevin Callahan, a Boeing technical fellow leading the study on the wand prototype, cited “very strong interest” as carriers are looking to restore faith in flying as COVID-19 subsides.

Many airlines have started using electrostatic disinfectants under heightened cleaning procedures, which destroy viruses on contact, as well as an antimicrobial spray that forms a 30 day coating.

Boeing is also testing an anti-microbial coating for surfaces in an aircraft.

Boeing is the world ‘s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, space, security systems and defense. They also provide aftermarket support.

Being a part of the aviation sector means that Boeing was heavily impacted by the pandemic, forcing them to lay off nearly 16,000 employees. According to recent reports, they expect to cut more jobs.