Hong Kong Airport First to Trial Full-Body Disinfectant Machines

Hong Kong International Airport
PHOTO: Hong Kong International Airport. (photo via LeeYiuTung/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

Hong Kong International Airport is applying advanced technology to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), including a full-body sanitizing machine known as CLeanTech.

Last month, Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) announced HGK was the world’s first airport to trial the technology, which checks the person’s temperature before applying sanitizing spray for instant disinfection in a process lasting about 40 seconds.

An antimicrobial coating on the interior remotely kills viruses and bacteria on human bodies and clothing by using the technologies of photocatalyst and “nano needles,” according to AA. In addition to the sanitizing spray, the channel is kept under negative pressure to prevent cross-contamination between the inside and outside environments.

For now, the facility is only being used by airport staff responsible for public health and quarantine duties for arriving passengers.

Officials at HKG are also testing the application of an invisible antimicrobial coating at all passenger facilities. The germ-, bacteria- and virus-destroying coating is being applied to high-touch surfaces throughout the terminal, including check-in kiosks, seating areas, baggage trolleys, elevator buttons and handles and seats of Automated People Movers, among other things.

The trial is scheduled for completion this month, at which point the airport authority will consider implementing the new measure long-term.

What’s more, the airport has deployed autonomous cleaning robots to disinfect public areas and passenger facilities at HGK. The Intelligent Sterilization Robots can move around autonomously and are equipped with ultraviolet light sterilizer and air sterilizer that neutralizes up to 99.99 percent of bacteria in the air and on nearby surfaces in only 10 minutes.

“The safety and wellbeing of airport staff and passengers are always our first priority. Although air traffic has been impacted by the pandemic, the AA spares no effort in ensuring that the airport is a safe environment for all users,” said Steven Yiu, AA’s deputy director for service delivery, in a statement. “We will continue to look into new measures to enhance our cleaning and disinfection work.”

HGK was also the first airport to begin screening all incoming passengers for COVID-19.