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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.

Go deeper

Dec 31, 2020 - Health

WHO lists Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

A healthcare worker giving a patient a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine in Florida on Dec. 30. Photo: Marco Bello/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Thursday listed Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

Why it matters: The approval — the WHO's first for a coronavirus vaccine — may allow some countries to expedite their own regulatory approval processes so they can import and administer the vaccine quicker, the WHO said.

White House, bipartisan group agree on infrastructure framework

Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) meet Wednesday to discuss infrastructure. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The White House and a bipartisan group of senators struck a tentative deal on Wednesday for the framework of a roughly $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, Senate aides familiar with the negotiations told Axios.

What's next: The Senate group will brief President Biden at the White House on Thursday, though some details still need to be ironed out, the aides said.

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