Wayfarer TV: Hong Kong Airport trials full-body disinfection and autonomous cleaning robots

by James Wilkinson

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is rolling-out the latest disinfection technologies – including disinfection channels, antimicrobial coating and autonomous cleaning robots – aimed at protecting passengers and airport staff from COVID-19 infection.

HKIA is the world’s first airport where ‘CleanTech’, a full-body disinfection channel facility, is being trialled in live operation.

The airport says people using the facility will have 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 and 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 Airport Authority of Hong Kong (AA) 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 AA says it 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 in HKIA. An ‘Intelligent Sterilisation Robot’, equipped with ultra violet light steriliser and air steriliser, is deployed round-the-clock in public toilets and key operating areas in the terminal building.

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.