Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Boeing Fights COVID-19 On Flight Decks Using Thermal Disinfection

COVID-19 has unsurprisingly crippled the world economy and businesses around the world, and it’s not wrong to say that none have felt the effects of that devastation more than the airline industry. In the case of Boeing, the aerospace and airplane manufacturer is bringing the fight to the virus with a tried and tested technique: thermal disinfection.

As the name of the method suggests, thermal disinfection uses high heat applied to surface areas, to both treat and disinfect them of any potentially dangerous virus. In this case, these surface areas are the flight decks of Boeing’s planes, as well as hard-to-clean flight deck equipment.

The method was put into place after Boeing collaborated with the University of Arizona, the latter having found that just a three-hour exposure at temperatures of 50°C would effectively kill and destroy 99.99% of the COVID-19 virus. As Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona puts it; at that heat, you’re basically “cooking the virus.”

Again, the aviation industry has been one of the hardest hit industries in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with many airlines cancelling flights, shutting down offices, and laying off staff en masse. It also doesn’t help that many countries have either banned incoming flights or just shut down airport operations entirely.

There’s a video included within the source, so if you’re curious as to how Boeing’s approach to thermal disinfection is like, you can view there.

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