Here’s the inside of a private jet you’ll never want to fly. The two Gulfstream III planes look like the ones owned and flown by bigwigs the world over – but inside, the 12-seater aircraft have been modified to fly highly-contagious Ebola patients and medical staff.
The Phoenix Air-owned aircraft took 30 months to outfit in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Defense, company vice president Dent Thompson told ABC News during an interior tour of the high-tech craft.
The sight of the gray-painted planes sitting on tarmacs in Texas and Georgia have become common sights on cable news as they’ve been used to transport Americans infected with the highly contagious virus. Inside reveals a whole new layer of safety and protection provided to the patient and staff.
The forward third of the craft contains four chairs reserved for the medical staff. Further back, the stock chairs have been removed to make room for the “aeromedical biological containment system,” designed to transport patients with a wide range of contagious diseases, not just Ebola, Thompson said.
The zippered first room is lower pressure so any possible leak will contain contaminated air within the unit, which is outfitted with HEPA filters used by the CDC, according to Thompson.
An antechamber is used as a dressing chamber where medics put on their “moon suits” before and after visiting with the patient.
The patient, meanwhile, uses a stretcher in a separate room, which is right next to a bathroom – complete with privacy curtain – that contains a special toilet.
“As you know from a variety of reports, Ebola causes a lot of bodily reactions, and we have to be able to take care of that,” Thompson told ABC. A chamber behind the toilet filters the air back into the cabin.