Airline study reports risk of COVID-19 transmission is low while flying


FILE – A Boeing 737 MAX jet heads to a landing at Boeing Field following a test flight in a Monday, June 29, 2020 file photo, in Seattle. Boeing is reporting more weak numbers for airplane orders and deliveries. The big aircraft maker said Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020 it it sold no new airliners in July, and customers canceled orders for 43 of its 737 Max jet. That’s the plane that has been grounded for more than a year after two crashes killed 346 people. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

(CBS) — We are giving you an inside look at an unprecedented series of tests that prove airline cleaning techniques do effectively kill the coronavirus and what it means about the safety of flying in a pandemic.

University of Arizona researchers, working with Boeing, are applying a live virus that’s harmless to humans, but more resilient than COVID-19 to airplane surfaces flyers are most likely to touch. This includes the tray table, seats, and overhead bins.

They then applied the enhanced cleaning techniques airlines have been rolling out since the pandemic began.

disinfectants, electrostatic sprayers, antimicrobial coatings, and this ultraviolet light wand Boeing developed to clean cockpits.

The researchers found all four procedures were shown to effectively kill COVID-19 leaving cabin surfaces essentially virus-free when passengers board.

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