3rd May 2020
Hong Kong International Airport deploys advanced technology to fight COVID-19
Hong Kong's Airport Authority (AA) is applying the latest disinfection technologies – including airlock-style channels, surface coatings and autonomous cleaning robots – at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) to protect staff and passengers from COVID-19 infection.
HKIA is the world's first airport to trial "CLeanTech" in live operation. Persons using this full-body disinfection facility are given a temperature check before entering an airlock-style channel for the 40-second process, which applies a sanitising spray. The interior surface of the enclosure is equipped with a coating that uses "nano needle" and photocatalyst technologies to remotely kill viruses and bacteria on people and clothing. 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, the AA has begun pilot tests of an invisible coating applied to all passenger facilities. The coating destroys germs, bacteria and viruses when sprayed on surfaces that are frequently touched in the terminal, including handles and seats of Automated People Movers and passenger buses, smart check-in kiosks and check-in counters, public toilets, seating areas, baggage trolleys, elevator buttons, and more. After completion of the trial this month, the AA will consider implementing it as a long-term disinfection measure.
In addition, autonomous cleaning robots are being deployed to ensure thorough disinfection of public areas and passenger facilities in HKIA. The Intelligent Sterilisation Robot – equipped with ultraviolet (UV) light and air sterilisers – is working round-the-clock in public toilets and key operating areas. 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.
"The safety and well-being of airport staff and passengers are always our first priority," said Steven Yiu, the Deputy Director of Service Delivery at the AA. "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. We will continue to look into new measures to enhance our cleaning and disinfection work."