World-leading aerospace company Boeing has begun testing an antimicrobial surface coating in space, which could be used to battle Covid-19.

Antimicrobial coating could help Boeing fight Covid-19

Boeing and The University of Queensland are conducting research into the development of antimicrobial surface coatings, which could be used to prevent the spread of microbial and viral disease.

The coating is intended for use on points of human contact such as belt buckles, armrests, and tray tables, which and could help prevent transmission by eliminating the virus or bacteria upon contact.

The purpose of the antimicrobial coating was to help protect space missions with tests currently being conducted on the International Space Station (ISS). However, the coating can be modified to target specific diseases, including the Covid-19 virus. As a result, Boeing could produce a coating, which would help prevent transmission of the virus, by using its coating in aircraft and for broader industry applications.

Travel confident initiative continues to increase flight safety

Since the outbreak, Boeing has continued to create a secure environment, in which passengers can travel without fear of contracting Covid-19.

Disinfecting aeroplanes and air cabin filtration systems have been the main tools used to reduce the risk of disease transmission. However, Boeing continues to develop new tools that can be used to enhance flight safety.

One of the companies most significant developments is the UV wand, a compact, self-contained apparatus that passes UV light over a surface, sanitising any area the light reaches during the process. Boeing entered a patent and technology license with Florida-based Healthe Inc in September last year. The company is now responsible for the production and commercial distribution of the UV wand to airlines and other companies that would find the technology useful.

If Boeing’s antimicrobial surface coating continues to perform well during testing and gains regulatory approvals, it could also have a commercial rollout and contribute to the recovery of the aviation industry.

Health innovations could help Boeing recover from a difficult period

Boeing’s financial results were deeply impacted by the pandemic. Commercial aeroplane revenues fell -37.3% during 2020 relative to 2019 revenues. A dramatic fall in air traffic caused demand for aircraft to weaken.

Sales generated from the commercialisation of technologies designed to prevent infections could help Boeing recover during 2021 and beyond. Airlines are expected to continue investing in safety measures as they become desperate to attract air passengers that are cautious of travelling during the pandemic.

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