Boeing has launched the Confident Travel Initiative, which will unite with industry to help minimise air travel health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The launch of the initiative acknowledges the multilayered approach which is key to enhancing safety and reducing illness transmission. The company has appointed Mike Delaney to lead the Initiative which comes into effect immediately.
Delaney will working with the industry to develop new solutions to help minimise air travel health risks amid the COVID-19 pandemic and drive awareness of health safeguards already in place. Delaney brings 31 years of Boeing experience to the role, including previous executive leadership positions in airplane development and engineering, and currently serves as vice president of Digital Transformation at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Initiative will develop industry-recognised safety recommendations
Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun said: “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. Mike’s deep technical expertise, leadership skills, industry knowledge and great passion for our customers make him uniquely qualified to lead this effort.”
The Confident Travel Initiative team will work with airlines, global regulators, industry stakeholders, flying passengers, infectious disease experts and behavioural specialists to establish industry-recognized safety recommendations. The team is also advising operators on existing, approved disinfectants that are compatible with the airplane flight decks and cabins and testing other sanitizers.
“Our commitment to ensuring the health of airline passengers and crews is unwavering,” said Delaney. “We’re working with partners to enhance aircraft cleanliness procedures and identify other areas to further reduce the risk of airborne illness transmission.”
Initiative will focus on safety aspects from cleaning to ultraviolet light disinfection
Boeing’s effort will build on the industry’s enhanced safety approaches – including enhanced cleaning, temperature checks and the use of face coverings – and promote the proven systems already in place to help maintain cabin cleanliness. One such system is the air filtration system present on all Boeing airplanes. The air filtration system incorporates High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters similar to those used in hospitals and industrial clean rooms. HEPA filters are 99.9+% effective at removing particulates such as viruses, bacteria and fungi before air is recirculated back to the cabin.
Boeing continues to research and evaluate new technologies to enhance safety, including ultraviolet light disinfecting systems and antimicrobial coatings for high-touch surfaces. The company is working with academics, health experts and learning institutions worldwide to field studies and facilitate research on reducing the potential of disease transmission on airplanes.
“Air travel is coming back,” said Delaney. “As that happens, we want passengers and crews to board Boeing airplanes without hesitation.”