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Hong Kong’s airport begins use of ‘disinfection’ technologies


Hong Kong International Airport has become one of the first major gateways in the world to apply the latest disinfection technologies, including disinfection channels, antimicrobial coating and autonomous cleaning robots to protect passengers and staff from COVID-19 infection.

The airport has effectively become the test bed for CLeanTech, a full-body disinfection channel facility, which is being trialled during live operations at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

According to Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) passengers using the facility “will have a temperature check before entering an enclosed channel for the 40-second disinfection and sanitising procedures”.

It notes that the interior surface of the channel is equipped with antimicrobial coating which can remotely kill virus and bacteria on human bodies and clothing by using the technologies of photocatalyst and “nano needles”.

‘Sanitising spray’ is also applied for instant disinfection, says AAHK, adding that the channel is kept under negative pressure to prevent cross-contamination between the outside and inside environment.

Currently, the facility is designated for use by staff who take part in public health and quarantine duties at the airport in relation to arriving passengers.

Meanwhile, AAHK is conducting a pilot test of applying antimicrobial coating at all passenger facilities.

An invisible coating to destroy germs, bacteria and viruses is applied to high-touch surfaces in the terminal, including handles and seats of Automated People Movers and passenger buses, smart check-in kiosks and check-in counters, toilets, seating area in the terminal, baggage trolleys, elevator buttons, and more.

After completion of the trial in May, the airport will consider implementing it as a long term disinfection measure.

And that’s not all, as AAHK reveals that autonomous cleaning robots are also deployed to ensure the thorough disinfection of public areas and passenger facilities.

Called Intelligent Sterilization Robots, each one is equipped with ultra violet light steriliser and air steriliser, and deployed round-the-clock in public toilets and key operating areas in the terminal building.

According to AAHK, the robot can move around autonomously and sterilise up to 99.99% of bacteria in its vicinity, including both the air and object surfaces, in just 10 minutes.

AAHK’s deputy director for service delivery, Steven Yiu, said: “The safety and wellbeing of airport staff and passengers are always our first priority.

“Although air traffic has been impacted by the pandemic, we spare no effort in ensuring that the airport is a safe environment for all users.

“We will continue to look into new measures to enhance our cleaning and disinfection work.”

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