In an aviation industry first, Coventry based BioCote's antimicrobial technology has been integrated by Aereos Interior Solutions into high-touch aircraft interior products.
Image courtesy BioCote
High-touch aircraft interior products manufactured by Aereos Interior Solutions now include integrated antimicrobial technology from BioCote. It is the first time that antimicrobial technology, which permanently prevents the growth of a wide range of microbes – including bacteria, mould and some viruses – has been integrated into aeroplane interiors to provide an additional level of hygiene. When containing BioCote technology, Aereos Interior Solutions’ products are certified as greater than 99.8% effective against MRSA and E. coli.
While most aircrafts are fitted with HEPA air filtrations systems, which can remove bacteria and trap dust, fungal spores and viruses, droplets containing microbes can still fall onto high-touch points such as seats, armrests, table trays, window shades and toilets. Regular cleaning of these surfaces is therefore crucial, and airlines clean their aircrafts thoroughly and frequently according to strict industry protocols. Enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures1 aim to provide reassurance to passengers, increase consumer confidence and help aid the recovery of the sector (the International Air Transport Association expects 2020 traffic to be 66 per cent below 2019 levels2).
Aereos Interior Solutions, a division of global aircraft solutions provider Aereos, Inc., has introduced an additional layer of hygiene protection by integrating long-lasting BioCote antimicrobial technology into its high-touch products; a first for the aviation industry. The technology has been built into its tray tables, toilet shrouds, toilet seats and window shades and is available with no incremental cost to customers.
Working alongside stringent cleaning regimes and good hand hygiene practices, antimicrobial technology permanently protects surfaces by preventing the growth of a wide range of microbes. Protected products are easier to keep hygienically clean, and the risk of cross-contamination is lowered. Material degradation, odours and staining are also reduced, helping to extend product life. Once manufactured into a product, BioCote antimicrobial technology acts in minutes and works continuously for the expected lifetime of the treated product; it cannot wear out or wash off.
The technology is effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria (including E. coli, MRSA, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria), mould, fungi and the influenza A H1N1 virus. It has also been proven to reduce a strain of feline coronavirus (Munich) by 90% in two hours. Tests carried out by an independent microbiological testing laboratory have certified that Aereos Interior Solutions products containing BioCote technology are greater than 99.8% effective against MRSA and E. coli.
BioCote antimicrobial technology is also certified by HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) International and is approved as food contact safe by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
David Baker, partner at Aereos Interior Solutions, said: “We are pleased to play a part in helping airlines build passenger confidence by introducing a line of antimicrobial high-touch aircraft parts that work 24/7, during and even between traditional cleanings by the airlines. It has been a combined effort; our innovative proprietary processes and technologies developed over decades by highly skilled engineers working in collaboration with BioCote’s experienced team, leveraging 25 plus years’ success in the antimicrobial field.”
David Hall, managing director of BioCote, said: “We are proud to be involved in this industry first. BioCote has been active in the transport sector for some time but our solutions have not been applied to aircraft interiors before. Airlines have recently bolstered their cleaning regimes but antimicrobial technology provides a second line of defence. Combined with regular cleaning, it provides permanent protection by reducing the levels of microbes on surfaces to deliver the ultimate hygiene solution.”
The bacteria that can potentially be found in aeroplane interiors has been highlighted by several studies. One analysis3 of 100 samples taken from seatbelts, tray tables, headrests, seat pockets and washroom handles found that nearly half of the samples contained high levels of bacteria or yeast and mould. Another study4 analysed 13 samples from airports and aeroplanes; nine returned positive results of high levels of microbes, with tray tables harbouring the highest amount of bacteria. Further research5 discovered that MRSA survived for 168 hours on seat back pockets and E. coli for 96 hours on armrests.
Aereos Interior Solutions designs, engineers and manufactures high-quality, custom-built interior solutions, including cabin, galley and lavatory parts. Its products are designed to meet airlines’ changing requirements and changing market conditions. Aereos Interior Solutions offers complete project engineering management, while identifying optimal solutions that can be delivered in as little as eight weeks.