New Honeywell ultraviolet cabin system could cut Covid-19 presence


Honeywell’s new UV Cabin System may reduce Covid-19 presence within business jet aircraft cabins. In clinical studies, ultraviolet light has been found to be capable of significantly reducing certain viruses and bacteria when properly applied at prescribed levels. The UV system can traverse an aircraft cabin in around 10 minutes, while ultraviolet light comes into contact with every surface. 

Mike Madsen, Honeywell Aerospace President and CEO, said: 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.” 

The UV Cabin System is roughly the size of an aircraft beverage cart and has UV-C light arms that extend over the top of seats and sweep the cabin to treat aircraft surfaces. When properly applied, UV-C lights can deliver doses that clinical studies have found to be capable of reducing various viruses and bacteria, including SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. However, Honeywell notes results vary based on UV dosage and application. 

For SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, there are multiple medical studies underway involving UV-C light. Preliminary results from studies performed by Boston University and a consortium of Italian medical and academic professionals report that UVC light can inactivate the virus at prescribed dosages in the lab. Additional studies are underway for other environments. 

Dr Simon May, MD, Flightcare Global, told Corporate Jet Investor: “The Honeywell UV cabin system is interesting and certainly has potential – I do note that they state that no testing has been done specifically around protection against Covid-19 . Although UVC light has been shown to reduce the amount of bacteria and virus including MERS CoV and SARS CoV. In short, the Honeywell system presents an interesting opportunity for enhanced cabin cleaning with more work required around its effectiveness against Covid-19  and development of a  bizjet specific system.” 

Dr May added: “With respect to enhanced cabin cleaning in response to the current pandemic ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organization] have outlined certain steps in their take off/ CART documentation around enhanced cleaning using OEM approved agents (70% aqueous iso propyl alcohol) this cleaning should also be logged on a standardised form (Aircraft COVID 19 disinfection control sheet). EASA has also provided similar guidance material.”