Ever felt confident you got sick
from air travel?
Startup company Germfalcon is
offering airlines a product they say will go a long way toward solving that
“If your kid is sick three days
after the flight, you don’t care how fast the WiFi was,” company founder Arthur
Kreitenberg said during a presentation Tuesday at the Aviation Festival
Americas in Miami.
Airlines already use ultraviolet
light to filter cabin air. And Boeing has filed a patent application for an
automated UV system that would kill off germs in plane laboratories.
according to Kreitenberg, an orthopedic surgeon by trade, airlines aren’t systematically
sanitizing throughout the plane. And he noted a 2015 study by the website
Travelmath that found that tray tables have eight times the density of bacteria
as toilet flush buttons.
“Even overnight they don’t
sanitize. It may look clean, but in reality it’s filled with germs,”
Kreitenberg said in reference to commercial aircraft.
Germfalcon’s system, which is
under development, will also deploy ultraviolet technology to attack germs.
Demo units are slated to be ready for deployment this summer, and the company
hopes to have commercial units available by the start of the 2016-17 flu season
The units, which will cost
approximately $100,000, are designed to roll down the aisles of commercial
aircraft. Extendable arms will reach out to clean seat areas. When operated at
a pace of nine rows per minute, they’ll kill 99.9% of germs, said Kreitenberg’s son,
Mo Kreitenberg, who is Germfalcon’s CEO.
The product won’t impact Zika,
since ultraviolet light doesn’t kill mosquitoes. But it would take on many
bacteria-related illnesses such as the flu, staph infections and E. coli.