Ravn Alaska, a regional airline headquartered in Anchorage that services 14 communities across the state, has introduced RAY, the autonomous robot to disinfect its Dash 8 aircraft cabins between flights.
Designed and manufactured by aero hygenx inc. in Canada, with support from De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, the robot emits ultraviolet-C (UVC) light to provide consistent, sustainable and chemical-free disinfection of cabin air and surfaces between flights.
Ravn Alaska, which operates 10 Dash 8-100 aircraft manufactured by De Havilland Canada, is one of the first airlines to utilise the robot on regional aircraft.
RAY delivers high-frequency UVC light that destroys up to 99.9% of pathogens – including the COVID-19 virus. The use of UVC light reduces the need for frequent chemical-based disinfection that could impact aircraft interior surfaces and sensitive equipment and leave residues that may come into contact with passengers and crew.
“We are enhancing our ability to keep our passengers safe by including the chemical-free disinfection method provided by RAY among the procedures we are utilising to sanitise our Dash 8 aircraft,” said Rob McKinney, Chief Executive Officer, Ravn Alaska. “We anticipate that RAY will be a valuable asset to our airline and for other airlines around the world, as together we seek to rebuild passenger confidence and help our industry recover.”
“The transportation industry has been brought to its knees as a result of the pandemic. Now, more than ever, rapid, consistent, safe, chemical-free disinfection of air and surfaces is vital for employee and passenger safety in the fight against current and future pandemics,” said Arash Mahin, Chief Executive Officer, aero hygenx. “We are grateful for the support De Havilland Canada provided to optimise RAY for use in the Dash 8 Series aircraft. We are confident operators will see significant savings compared to traditional chemical-based cleaning methods.”
“We look forward to seeing the deployment of many more UVC-light emitting, RAY robots among operators of Dash 8 aircraft,” said Robert Mobilio, Vice President, Engineering and Quality, De Havilland Canada. “De Havilland Canada has been working throughout the pandemic to help our operators with solutions that assist in returning airline fleets to service, so we were happy to support aero hygenx in customising RAY for use on regional aircraft and are very pleased that a long-time Dash 8 operator such as Ravn is part of this journey.”
Optimised for use on Dash 8 Series aircraft, RAY delivers the required UVC dosage and 360° coverage throughout the cabin, lavatories and crew area. The disinfection procedure between flights on Dash 8 Series aircraft can be completed in under five minutes. Unlike traditional, chemical-based cleaning methods, no additional time is required for chemicals to dissipate before crew and passengers can board the aircraft. RAY is monitored continuously through HygenX Stream, and operators can access valuable key metrics and reports related to fleet disinfection, unit health monitoring and predictive maintenance. HygenX Stream also facilitates the customisation of the level of disinfection based on flight duration and regional risk factors. It also provides the ability to integrate into operators’ mobile Apps in order to boost passenger confidence.