JetBlue Fighting COVID-19 with UV Light Robots at JFK Airport

The Airline industry has been one of the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are quite reluctant to get back on airplanes as the deadly virus is especially contagious in an enclosed cabin. To keep their planes sanitized and passengers safe, one airline is turning to ultraviolet light robots.

US carrier JetBlue has implemented a new cutting-edge UV light technology to help keep their planes free from coronavirus. The robot UV Cabin system comes from Honeywell and can sanitize the interior of an aircraft in less than 10 minutes. JetBlue will be using the robots at JFK Airport in New York, along with Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida as part of a pilot program. The airline is the first in the US to use the new UV tech.

“As we look to add additional layers of protection by utilizing cutting-edge technology, we have identified the Honeywell UV Cabin System as a potential game changer when it comes to efficiently assisting in our efforts to sanitize surfaces onboard,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s president and COO.

Honeywell UV Light Robot Sanitizes Cabin in 10 Minutes

The Honeywell UV Cabin System is roughly the size of an aircraft beverage cart and has UV-C light arms that extend over the top of seats and sweep the cabin to treat aircraft surfaces. UV light has been used to destroy viruses and bacteria. The tech has become especially useful during the COVID-19 pandemic as places such as hospitals, hotels, and airport terminals have incorporated UV robots to help keep virus-free.

JetBlue is using the UV light robots in concert with other cleaning methods to help keep planes sanitized.  In clinical studies, ultraviolet light has been found to be capable of significantly reducing certain viruses and bacteria, including SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, when properly used at certain levels.

Honeywell has delivered eight of the devices to JetBlue, and the devices are now being put into service as part of JetBlue’s Safety from the Ground Up program. The pilot programs at JFK and FLL will last 90 days. No word on if JetBlue will deploy the UV light robots to other airports.

“JetBlue took an immediate interest in this new product when we demonstrated it for them just a few weeks ago, and now JetBlue is receiving our first systems,” said Mike Madsen, Honeywell Aerospace president, and CEO. “We’ve ramped up production quickly on the UV Cabin System, and our company is working on a range of solutions to help make passengers more comfortable about flying.”