Hong Kong Airport Starts Trial With Cleaning Robots

by Tonakshi Kalra
Hong Kong Airport Starts Trial With Cleaning Robots

Like many other developments, cleaning robots, antimicrobial coatings and temperature checks could soon be one of the steps of our international airport trips. Hong Kong’s Airport Authority (AA) is applying disinfection technologies, including disinfection channels, antimicrobial coating and autonomous cleaning robots at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) to protect passengers and staff from COVID-19 infection.

Image credits: TTG Asia

What Is It

One of the busiest Asia airport, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has provided a sneak-peek into what international airport procedures might look like once we’re traveling again. It includes a lot of disinfection technologies.

The short, but thorough, process sees those passing through undertake a temperature check before entering a small booth for the 40-second disinfection and sanitizing procedures.

Also read: Delhi Airport Might Reopen With New Rules: Masks Will Be Mandatory, No Meals On Flights

Image credits: CNN.com

The Authority claims that it’s the first in the world to trial a live operation of CleanTech, a full-body disinfection booth.

Internal Facility

The inside of the facility has an antimicrobial coating that can remotely kill any viruses, germs or bacteria found on clothing, as well as the exterior of the body, by using photocatalyst advances along with ‘nano needles’. This includes handles and seats, smart check-in kiosks and check-in counters, baggage trolleys and elevator buttons.

Sanitising Spray For Instant Disinfection

The sanitising spray for instant disinfection to be sprinkled on the individuals inside the booth. The booth is kept under negative pressure, an isolation technique used in hospitals and medical centers, to prevent cross-contamination.

Image credits: Airport Authority Hong Kong

But there’s one thing worth noting that this procedure aims to disinfect a person’s clothes and skin externally and it may not be effective in detecting the ones who are already infected with the disease.

Since CleanTech is at present being trialed at one of the world’s busiest airports, it suggests that facilities like this may be used more widely in the near future.

Intelligent Sterilization Robot

Not only this, autonomous cleaning robots are being used to continuously disinfect public areas and passenger facilities at HKIA.

The Intelligent Sterilization Robot is used to maintain the public toilets, as well as crucial operating areas within the terminal building. This robot is equipped with ultraviolet light sterilizer and air sterilizer for disinfection of hard surfaces.

Also read: Japan’s Narita Airport Offers Beds Made Of Cardboard For Passengers Awaiting COVID-19 Test Results

Image credits: CNN.com

To help prevent the spread of coronavirus, many airlines are instructing people to wear masks.

“The safety and well-being of airport staff and passengers are always our first priority. We will continue to look into new measures to enhance our cleaning and disinfection work,” Steven Yiu, the airport authority’s deputy director of service delivery was reported as saying.

HKIA is one of several aviation bodies to announce it’s stepping up safety procedures due to the coronavirus crisis.

Once the trial is complete in May, a decision will be made on whether this measure will be implemented permanently.