Lavatory Upgrade Options To Improve Hygiene, Accessibility

Touchfree Lavatory Suite
Touchfree Lavatory Suite
Credit: Adams Rite Aerospace

1. Touchfree Lavatory Suite 

Company: Adams Rite Aerospace

Specifications: Adams Rite Aerospace is working to design and manufacture a suite of approximately nine Touchfree lavatory products to address passenger concerns about COVID-19. The products include an automated waste flap, a hand sanitizer and soap dispenser and a lightweight faucet that Adams Rite says is easily retrofittable and targeted to be versatile across both single- and dual-aisle aircraft. Adams Rite is finalizing its lineup of airline, integrator and OEM partners and is targeting early 2021 for the Touchfree products’ market release. 


Better Lavatory Accessibility
Credit: FACC

2. Better Lavatory Accessibility 

Company: FACC

Specifications: FACC has introduced its Lav4All product to improve lavatory accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility or impairments. Available as a retrofit option, Lav4All’s door opens at a right angle, which blocks off the view from the aisle to provide more privacy while creating more space for passengers in wheelchairs to more easily enter the lavatory. Its handles, levers and switches have been adapted to special needs such as height or size and are accentuated in color. 


Germ-Killing Silver
Credit: Mankiewicz

3. Germ-Killing Silver 

Company: Mankiewicz

Specifications: Mankiewicz has developed a topcoat called Alexit FST BioProtect, which uses silver technology to kill micro-organisms on surfaces. Mankiewicz says the product protects surfaces for “many years” without having to be renewed, and the silver technology is already being used in lavatories to coat toilet seats, washbasins or even an entire lavatory. Mankiewicz estimates that around 7,000 lavatories are currently coated with Alexit FST BioProtect. 


Antimicrobial LEDs
Credit: Vital Vio

4. Antimicrobial LEDs 

Company: Vital Vio

Specifications: Vital Vio, which provides antimicrobial LED lights that continuously sanitize surfaces, is seeing a significant ramp-up in interest from the aviation industry. It debuted its partnership with Delta Air Lines to test the technology in aircraft at CES this year, and Vital Vio says it saw 40 times more inquiries in April compared with December 2019. Vital Vio is in the process of installing its proprietary LEDs in Delta’s fleet to replace existing lights over the lavatory sink, starting with the airline’s Boeing 757s. It is now working with airlines and airports across the country on ways to best deploy the technology. 


Hands-Free Upgrades
Credit: HAECO

5. Hands-Free Upgrades

Company: HAECO Cabin Solutions

Specifications: HAECO Cabin Solutions has launched three hands-free lavatory upgrade products: an electric foot-controlled switch to flush toilets, an infrared sensor-based wastebasket lid and a refillable hand-sanitizer dispenser. HAECO says the foot flush is already installed and flying with an undisclosed customer, and it has already received formal requests for proposals for all three products. Lead time is dependent on which solutions airlines select since each will be tailored to customers’ unique requirements. HAECO is targeting 60 days for implementation and certification. 


Lavatory Decontamination Chamber
Credit: Diehl Aviation

6. Touchless Equipment 

Company: Diehl Aviation

Specifications: As part of its Cabin Confidence Concept to address novel-coronavirus-related travel concerns, Diehl Aviation is developing touchless lavatory components for the toilet, water faucet, waste flap, hand dryer and door lock that can each be activated without touching any surfaces. According to Diehl, installation of these components will not require any “big changes of the existing construction.” Diehl already offers hands-free lavatory handles and is now looking into UV-C technology to disinfect surfaces and purify water.


Lavatory Decontamination Chamber
Credit: Etihad Engineering

7. Lavatory Decontamination Chamber

Company: Etihad Engineering

Specifications: Etihad Engineering has developed a modification concept to convert a lavatory into a decontamination chamber for aircraft crew on long-haul flights by installing a hydrogen-peroxide fog unit. Etihad says that the unit would be installed below the sink and could decontaminate a person’s entire body within 2 min. while leaving the lavatory fully operational for crew throughout the flight. The carrier is not yet sharing specifics about whether it or its customers are planning to implement the concept, but the airline says it is targeting certification for all Airbus and Boeing commercial aircraft types.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.