May 3, 2020 by Laurie Werner (US) ( Story: link )
Hong Kong International Airport is one of the busiest in the world, for both entry into the city and as a transfer point throughout Asia. Hong Kong was also one of the earliest locations to which the coronavirus spread after its origin in Wuhan. So it makes sense that this airport would be the first to try out a disinfection procedure that claims to eliminate 99.9% of germs. It’s on trial this month for staff involved in public health and quarantine procedures for the passengers still going through the airport during the pandemic and can be extended and expanded to include passengers depending on results.
At first look, the CleanTech chamber looks like a personal car wash/misting booth. Before entering the chamber, individuals are given a temperature check. The interior surface of the chamber has an antimicrobial coating which is reported to remotely kill viruses and bacteria on human bodies and clothing through the technologies of photocatalysts which trigger a chemical reaction in materials through the use of light and nano needles thinner than a human hair. Sanitizing mist is also applied. The chamber is kept under negative pressure to keep the external and internal environments separate. The process itself is completed in 40 seconds.
As part of this stepped up emphasis on disinfection, all airport facilities here are also receiving increased attention in a pilot test applying antimicrobial coating to high touch surfaces: handles, seats on Automated People Movers and passenger buses, check in kiosks and counters, bathrooms, terminal seating areas, baggage trolleys, elevator buttons and others. Intelligent Sterilization Robots equipped with ultraviolet light sterilizer and air sterilizer are also being employed to disinfect public facilities around the clock; reportedly 99.9% of germs can be removed from surfaces and the air in 10 minutes. This trial is also being done in May with an eye toward extending it indefinitely. If all trials go well, it seems clear that other airports around the world will definitely take note.