Global major US aerospace group Boeing has launched a Confident Travel Initiative to help restore commercial air travel following the Covid-19 pandemic. Severe flight restrictions and national lockdowns by many countries have devastated commercial air passenger travel around the world. Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP of digital transformation Mike Delaney has, with immediate effect, been appointed to head the new initiative.
“As air travel slowly begins to resume and restrictions ease around the globe, health and safety remain our top priorities for our teams who design, build and service the airplanes and all those who fly on them,” assures Boeing president and CEO David Calhoun. “Mike’s deep technical expertise, leadership skills, industry knowledge and great passion for our customers make him uniquely qualified to lead this effort.”
“Our commitment to ensuring the health of airline passengers and crews is unwavering,” he stresses. “We’re working with partners to enhance aircraft cleanliness procedures and identify other areas to further reduce the risk of airborne illness transmission.”
The new Boeing team is advising airlines on what approved existing disinfectants can be used in aircraft flight decks and cabins. It is also testing other sanitisers. The team will further work with global regulators, airlines, air passengers, industry stakeholders, behavioural specialists and experts in infectious diseases to develop safety recommendations that will be recognised across the industry.
“Air travel is coming back,” affirms Delaney. “As that happens, we want passengers and crews to board Boeing airplanes without hesitation. Our goal is to provide a safe experience from curbside to airplane and beyond. Common system-wide standards are key to a safe experience.”
Boeing will use existing proven systems as well as enhanced safety procedures as the foundation on which it will build. One of the proven systems is the cabin air filtration system already fitted to all Boeing airliners. This uses high efficiency particulate air filters like those fitted in hospitals, which are more than 99.9% efficient in removing bacteria, viruses and fungi from the air, before recycling the air back into the cabin. Enhanced safety measures include temperature checks, the wearing of masks, and enhanced cleaning of the aircraft.
The aerospace group is also researching and testing new safety technologies. These include the use of antimicrobial coatings for frequently-touched surfaces and ultraviolet light disinfecting systems. Research is being conducted with health experts, academics, and institutions around the world, to reduce the chances of diseases being transmitted on aircraft.