JetBlue is the first US airline to press the Honeywell Aerospace UV Cabin System into service. The product, formerly known as GermFalcon, entered a trial program at the carrier on Tuesday. The move comes just weeks after Honeywell signed an exclusive deal with Dimer LLC covering production, marketing and sales of the solution.
As we look to add additional layers of protection by utilizing cutting-edge technology, we have identified the Honeywell UV Cabin System as a potential game changer when it comes to efficiently assisting in our efforts to sanitize surfaces onboard.– Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s president and COO
The JetBlue agreement covers eight of the carts, deployed at the company’s JFK and Fort Lauderdale hubs. The companies expect the trial to last 90 days.
JetBlue took an immediate interest in this new product when we demonstrated it for them just a few weeks ago, and now JetBlue is receiving our first systems. We’ve ramped up production quickly on the UV Cabin System, and our company is working on a range of solutions to help make passengers more comfortable about flying.– Mike Madsen, Honeywell Aerospace president and CEO
Using Ultraviolet-C light to kill germs on board
The Honeywell UV Cabin System is roughly the size of an aircraft beverage cart and has UVC light arms that extend over the top of seats and sweep the cabin to treat aircraft surfaces.
Honeywell is quick to point out that the product has not undergone specific testing for the elimination of the COVID-19 virus. But the company also points out, “Medical studies have found UVC lights capable of reducing certain viruses and bacteria– including SARS CoV and MERS CoV – depending on UV dosage and proper application.” UVC refers to ultraviolet light with wavelengths between 200 and 280 nm.
For a mid-size or larger airline the companies believe that the per-aircraft cleaning cost can be reduced to less than $10 over the life of the system; they did not state what that timeline looks like, however.
While JetBlue is the first US carrier to trial the Honeywell solution other airlines are also considering UV-C light as part of their aircraft cleaning regimen. United Airlines launched its CleanPlus program that includes “Testing UV sanitation deployed by drones and hand-held wands,” among the many cabin cleaning options.
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