Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Airbus (OTC:EADSY) are partnering with medical experts, engineers, academics, and federal authorities in a research study investigating how the new coronavirus behaves inside airplane cabins, reports The Wall Street Journal.
This builds on earlier efforts by air travel businesses. Airlines already have implemented new measures in an effort to reduce risk and reassure travelers as they attempt to resume operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL) announced a new partnership with disinfectant maker Clorox (NYSE:CLX) and the Cleveland Clinic to develop new practices and procedures to make the entire air travel experience safer.
Boeing is working on computer simulation models to study how the coronavirus behaves in the cabin environment. Airlines have been touting the air filtration systems on planes that use HEPA filters to increase confidence in travel safety, along with new sanitization and operating procedures.
The cabin ventilation systems are not new, but researchers said there are still unknowns of how this coronavirus behaves in such an environment, according to the report. Both plane suppliers have been in contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) concerning risks for fliers and how to address them, the report said.
Airbus is also working with universities to find ways to mitigate the spread of the virus including using self-cleaning materials, disinfectants that can last for several days, and touchless devices in lavatories.