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Gatwick to send trays through "UV tunnels"

, © Smiths Detection

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LONDON - Gatwick is the first airport in the UK to treat its security trays with enough UV light energy to guarantee a 99.9 percent microbe disinfection rate – protecting passengers and staff and reducing the spread of coronaviruses, including Covid-19, and other infections on this high-touch surface area.

The new, highly effective system - provided by Smiths Detection - sees each tray pass through a covered "UV tunnel" fixed underneath the hand luggage screening system, as trays exit the scanners, so that every tray is treated immediately before each passenger uses it.

Following a one-month trial on a single security lane in July 2020, with laboratory testing demonstrating a 99.9 percent microbe disinfection rate, the new system will be rolled out on eight lanes in Gatwick’s North Terminal - six for passengers and two for staff - by the end of this month.

"This new system has proven itself to be extremely reliable and provides a really high degree of reassurance as every single passenger and staff member using the system will have a tray that has only just been disinfected," said Gatwick Chief Operating Officer Adrian Witherow.

The system, which is also in trial at Seoul Incheon airport, uses short-wavelength UV-C light, which laboratory tests show is effective against coronaviruses, including Covid-19 and SARS, as the radiation warps the structure of their genetic material and prevents the viral particles from replicating.

Gatwick and other airports have already deployed other anti-viral systems, such as coatings sprayed on to trays, however this protection dissipates over time whereas this new system treats every tray just before use – ensuring maximum protection and a reduced risk of passing on infection.

Other health measures in place at Gatwick include the frequent, enhanced deep cleaning of common-use surfaces throughout the airport, installation of approx. 500 Perspex screens, social distancing procedures at check in, security and gate rooms, well-spaced seating in departure halls and in restaurants, bars and shops and regularly signposted hand washing facilities and around 200 sanitising stations.
© aero.uk | Image: Smiths Detection | 03/10/2020 14:48

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