Sep 25, 2020 - Economy & Business

Boeing's germ-zapper could ease COVID-19 travel woes

Boeing's UV wand can disinfect high-touch surfaces. Photo: Boeing
Boeing's UV wand can disinfect high-touch surfaces. Photo: Boeing

Airlines could soon have another tool to help disinfect their airplanes and protect passengers from the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Air travel remains severely depressed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The industry won't recover until passengers feel confident they won't be infected in flight by fellow travelers.

What's happening: Boeing designed and developed a prototype for an ultraviolet wand to disinfect high-touch surfaces and is now licensing the technology to a Florida-based company, Healthe, for manufacturing.

  • The UV wand is designed to disinfect compact spaces such as the flight deck, galley and lavatories.
  • It's a complement to existing sanitization methods such as electrostatic spraying and high-efficiency air filters.
  • The technology could be available for airlines in late fall, Boeing said.
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