As the travel industry continues to see limited activity, and projections for when air travel might return to pre-coronavirus levels being measured in years, not months, it’s incumbent on the industry to do what it can to instill a sense of safety in passengers.
Most airlines have implemented extensive safety protocols, as have airports, and beyond the typical distancing, mask, and other protocols, there is plenty of tech available to support safe travel initiatives.
- JetBlue is trialing a UV-C disinfecting device from Honeywell on its planes.
- American Airlines is using a long-lasting electrostatic spray on its fleet.
- Smiths Detection has introduced a solution to sanitize security screening trays after each use.
- Koniku has developed sensors to “smell” COVID-19 on planes and in airports.
These are only a few of the innovative solutions that are helping the airline industry recover, and Xenex is adding to the list with its LightStrike coronavirus-killing robot.
The LightStrike robot emits bursts of intense UV light to destroy viruses and bacteria on surfaces. It’s a technology already being used in healthcare facilities to eliminate microscopic pathogens. In testing at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute the robot destroyed COVID-19 cells in two minutes.
Now, Xenex is bringing the same capabilities to airports, with San Antonio International Airport the first to deploy the robot. In less than 15 minutes, LightStrike can disinfect an area without any warm-up time, allowing it to be easily moved between areas in the airport to disinfect all high-traffic or high-touch areas, including jet bridges, gate areas, ticketing counters, baggage claim, concessions, elevators and restrooms.
The unit features some customization with regards to room size and positioning, for more efficient sanitizing, and provides real-time reporting to a cloud-based portal for tracking. LightStrike also comes with a triple motion sensor cone that can sense motion from across a room for added safety, should any individual come near an area being cleaned.
The airport plans to hold a city-wide naming contest to name its LightStrike Robot. The naming contest will be a part of the airport’s social media efforts designed to restore consumer confidence in commercial air travel and reduce fears of contracting COVID-19 while at the airport.