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 problem.

“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.

But 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 in November.

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.  

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