Aerospace and defence company Boeing has reached a patent and technology licence with US-based Healthe to manufacture an ultraviolet (UV) wand to sanitise aircraft interiors.

Designed and developed by Boeing, the UV wand is part of the company’s Confident Travel Initiative (CTI) to enhance the safety and wellbeing of passengers and crews amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Boeing CTI efforts leader Mike Delaney said: “The UV wand is designed to be more effective than similar devices. It quickly disinfects surfaces on an airplane and further strengthens other layers of protection for passengers and crew.

“Boeing spent six months transforming an idea for the wand into a working model, and Healthe will now take that prototype and make it available to the world at large.”

Designed as a self-contained apparatus resembling a carry-on suitcase, the wand leverages 222-nanometre UVC light to inactivate viruses and bacteria on high-touch surfaces.

The UV wand is also particularly effective in compact spaces and sanitises flight decks within 15 minutes.

Healthe will be responsible for producing and distributing the commercial wand and is expected to be available for airlines later this year.

Healthe executive chairman Abe Morris said: “We are proud to be assisting Boeing as they work with their partner airlines to enhance in-cabin plane sanitisation efforts.

“This could also benefit schools, hospitals, offices, wherever pathogens go.

“As we ramp up deployment of our cutting-edge UVC and Far-UVC 222 light solutions across many sectors, this new commercial-grade wand will be another powerful tool in the sanitisation arsenal to protect passengers against the spread of harmful viruses.”

Boeing revealed last month that it is working on a handheld wand to sanitise cockpits and cabins.