Hong Kong Airport Is Testing Full-body Disinfectant Machines That Clean Passengers' Clothing and Bodies

The machine sanitizes anyone who steps inside in 40 seconds.

"CleanTech" airport facility
Photo: Courtesy of Finn Partners

In an effort to prevent further spread of coronavirus, Hong Kong International Airport is testing a new machine that would effectively sanitize passengers head to toe.

The CLeanTech machine acts as a full-body disinfectant, killing bacteria on people’s bodies and clothing. The cleaning, which takes 40 seconds, uses an antimicrobial coating on the interior surface of the machine as well as sanitizing spray for “instant disinfection,” according to a press release shared by the airport.

The machine is kept at “negative pressure to prevent cross-contamination between the outside and inside environment.” Anyone who steps inside first goes through a temperature check.

"CleanTech" airport facility
Courtesy of Finn Partners

The machine is currently being used by airport staff who specifically handle public health issues for arriving passengers there.

“The safety and wellbeing of airport staff and passengers are always our first priority,” Steven Yiu, the deputy director for service delivery of the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA), said in a statement. “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.”

More than 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Hong Kong, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the virus.

In addition to the full-body machine, the Hong Kong airport has introduced other cleaning measures to assure passengers. The AA said it was piloting an invisible antimicrobial coating sprayed in all passenger facilities, including high-touch surfaces like check-in kiosks and baggage carts.

And cleaning robots equipped with ultraviolet light and air sterilizers are being deployed to public areas. According to the AA, the robots can sterilize up to 99.99 percent of bacteria in the air and on surfaces in 10 minutes.

The cleaning efforts come as air travel has been severely stymied by the spread of coronavirus and changes will likely be necessary going forward to assuage passengers who fly.

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