CHINA (HONG KONG). Airport Authority Hong Kong has introduced the latest disinfection technologies, including dedicated disinfection channels, antimicrobial coating, and autonomous cleaning robots, at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) to protect passengers and airport staff from COVID-19 infection.

HKIA is the world’s first airport to give a live trial to ‘CLeanTech’, a full-body disinfection channel facility. People using the facility receive a temperature check before entering an enclosed channel for the 40-second disinfection and sanitising procedures.

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.

Steven You said, “The safety and wellbeing of airport staff and passengers are always our first priority. The Airport Authority spares no effort in ensuring that the airport is a safe environment for all users.”

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, Airport Authority Hong Kong 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 authority will consider implementing it as a long-term disinfection measure.

Autonomous cleaning robots are also deployed to ensure thorough disinfection of public areas and passenger facilities. An ‘Intelligent Sterilisation Robot’, equipped with ultraviolet light steriliser and air steriliser, is deployed around-the-clock in public toilets and key operating areas in the terminal. 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 ten minutes.

Airport Authority Hong Kong Deputy Director, Service Delivery Steven You said, “The safety and wellbeing of airport staff and passengers are always our first priority. Although air traffic has been impacted by the pandemic, the Airport Authority spares 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.”