United Airlines will clean flight decks with UVC lighting and ban face masks with vents or other openings in a pair of new safety initiatives.
United Now Cleans Flight Decks with UVC Lighting
Spraying cockpit instruments with electrostatic spray, as United does in passenger cabins, may not interact well with sensitive flight instruments. Instead, United will use Ultraviolet C (UVC) lighting technology to disinfect and sanitize flight decks.
As Bryan Quigley, United’s Senior Vice President of Flight Operations, noted:
“Flight decks have many working parts, screens and components that are challenging to clean with traditional hand wipes and liquids, especially for someone who isn’t a pilot. The UVC lighting gives us a faster, more effective disinfection of one of the most important areas of the aircraft.”
The addition of UVC lighting comes in consultation with the Cleveland Clinic, United’s CleanPlus partner.
United Bans Face Masks With Vents Or Openings
Effective Friday, Aug. 7, United will ban the use of face coverings that have any kind of opening or vent in the areas that cover the nose and mouth. This policy update covers both customers and employees. If a customer arrives at the airport with a mask that has an opening, a United employee will provide a complimentary disposable mask they can use instead.
When the pandemic first started, I thought those vents/valves were high-powered filters. Little did I know, until a very helpful tweet from Zach Honig, how dangerous these masks potentially were to those around you.
Have you seen this version of the N95 mask, with a built-in valve? Be VERY careful if you’re near somebody who’s wearing one. pic.twitter.com/psU5cEJCSb
— Zach Honig (@ZachHonig) May 11, 2020
In addition to vents, masks which have nose and mouth openings (like, seriously? But I’ve seen them…) are also banned.
As airlines attempt to find a multi-layered approach to safety onboard, these two small measures won’t move the needle alone, but create a safer flying experience as part of a comprehensive approach to safety.