Taking clean to a whole new level in flight

Cleanliness has never mattered more.

That goes for our homes, our stores, our schools – and especially for close quarters like the inside of an airplane. Working with our airline partners, the Interiors team at Collins Aerospace has set out to make aircraft cabins cleaner and safer than ever, from the fabric on the seats to the fixtures in the restroom. After all, it’s not enough for us to hear that something has been cleaned, we want it to be truly clean.

The team’s holistic approach includes touchless lavatories and splash guard-equipped toilets, new antimicrobial surface coatings, specialized lighting and other revolutionary cleaning agents, hand sanitizing stations, air filtration systems and seating options. These solutions can be implemented quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively because they build upon the company’s existing footprint within the cabin.

Nowhere is “clean” more of a concern than in the restroom. As many public lavatories on land have become outfitted with touchless features over the years, airlines are trying to provide the same experience in the air. And Collins Aerospace is helping them do just that.

“Not only will we soon provide certain aircraft platforms with touchless faucet technology, we’re working to finalize and certify an entire suite of touchless lavatory features by next spring,” said Pierre Vignal, director of Engineering for the Structures and Integration Group for Interiors at Collins Aerospace. “Since we’ve been working on this technology with our customers for some time, we’ll soon be helping passengers avoid the need to touch toilet seats, flush mechanisms, soap dispensers, faucets or trash flaps when they’re in flight. After all, you can have greater peace of mind if you don’t have to touch something and then worry about how clean it might be.”

The team is also collaborating with a number of industry groups to establish standards on cleanliness itself and identify ways to meet them without compromising the integrity and lifespan of the products and materials already in place.

In addition to these considerations, Vignal and his team focus on providing airlines with well-designed products that are distinctive and set their brands apart from competitors. They know their customers not only need products that will last for a long time, but ones that passengers find attractive and fully meet their needs.

“Style is not an afterthought at Collins Aerospace,” he said. “While we obviously can’t afford to jeopardize the operability and the reliability of the system, industrial design is one of the very first steps in the overall process and it is playing a major role during the development of the mechanical and electrical engineering details. In the case of our touchless lavatories, we also need to make sure passengers feel confident they can have a safe and sanitary experience.”

In addition to the touchless lavatory suite, Vignal and his engineers are pursuing other leading-edge technologies to provide passengers with the cleanest and safest flying experience possible. In conjunction with airlines and teams across the company, Collins Aerospace is redefining cabin cleanliness as part of the new future of air travel.

Pierre Vignal at desk

Pierre Vignal, director of Engineering, Structures and Integration Group, Interiors