Honeywell works to develop technology to boost consumer confidence

A recent survey conducted by Honeywell Aerospace found that travelers want some reassurance that the plane they're getting on is clean and safe.

Air travel has dropped significantly since the pandemic. Routes have been slashed and many airlines have parked hundreds of places.

So what will airlines have to do to woo passengers back?

That's the question Honeywell Aerospace posed to about 700 anonymous travelers.

The majority - 72% - said they were more concerned with the environment on the plane than in the airport. About half - 51% - said air quality on board was a concern.

"We want to learn about what the passengers expect," said Kevin Suits, vice president of User Experience at Honeywell. "So we can offer the right products that are going to provide that assurance."

Suits says airlines are looking for technology that can help bolster the public's confidence. Honeywell is already on the forefront of developing that technology - from thermal imaging cameras that can check a person's temperature to N95 mask production, according to Suits.

The company is also working on some new air filtration systems for aircraft, Suits said.

"We'll be offering an air quality monitoring solution," Suits said. "This is a network of sensors that will be around the aircraft that's going to detect how good the air quality is, and provide that feedback to the crew to make adjustments."

The survey's finding show that cleanliness via technology was one of the most important factors for those surveyed.

"We're working very closely with airlines and operators," Suits said. "We're all in this together. We all have a vested interest in seeing the passengers return."

Suits also mentioned a new technology in development that would use UV light to sanitize the cabin of planes in between flights - a small robot with arms that would go down the aisles of the plane.