The Covid-19 pandemic had significantly disrupted the airline industry. Air travel fell sharply, forcing the airlines to cut capacity. The Government, together with the aviation stakeholders, had to come up with efficient and safe ways to restart of the operation. Cleaning has intensified in airports with special attention being paid to customer touchpoints such as bathrooms, escalators and door handles. One of the better solutions is the application of UV-C light. It is a time-tested disinfectant that kills viruses and bacteria. The standardisation of aircraft cleaning and disinfection processes is essential to resume flights operations and reinstall passenger confidence successfully.
What is UV radiation?
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation includes the wavelength range of 100–400 nm, which is a higher frequency and lower wavelength than visible light. It is divided into three bands:
- UV-A (315-400 nm)
- UV-B (280-315 nm)
- UV-C (100-280 nm)
UV radiation comes naturally from the sun, but it can also be created by artificial sources used in industry, commerce and recreation.
Properties of the UV-C light
To be precise, UV-C light with a wavelength in the range of 100-280 nm has a germicidal property. Germicidal UV products can alter the DNA and RNA of bacteria and viruses, destroying their ability to reproduce. A virus is not technically living organisms, so germicidal UV-C technology technically "inactivates" viruses. Most of them can inactivate up to 99.99% of pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, spores, and fungus. UV-C radiation is known to be a disinfectant for air, water, and nonporous surfaces. And due to its powerful sterilisation abilities, the technology has great potential for managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The mobile towers, handheld torch and baggage tunnels that deploy ultraviolet (UV) rays to disinfect surfaces is already in use in Delhi Airports.
Use of the UV light at the Airport
- The COVID-19 virus can live on a surface from two hours to nine days, and a person can be infected with the coronavirus, if they touch a surface or the object and then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes. Airports could use UV disinfectant chamber for rapid & chemical-free disinfection of the baggage coming in. This way, they can prevent a community spread. The equipment will ensure 360-degree disinfection.
- The UV sterilisers can be used to sanitise all types of objects such as fresh fruits and vegetables, liquids in sealed containers, groceries, metal objects, electronic gadgets, cabins, seats, masks, gloves, PPE kits, more thoroughly.
- UV lamps installed inside the air-handling units of the terminals and buildings could ensure that UV light clears the air of microorganism, stops biofilms or fungus or even bacteria from growing inside the moist air handling units. These units suck in air from outside, purify it and blows it into the terminal.
- Robots equipped with UV-C light can disinfect the surfaces. For example, Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) in the US has started using robots with ultraviolet lights to clean the Airport surfaces. The system used at the Airport has integrated the UVC fixture that gives out intense UV-C rays, which sanitises the floor after a scrubber cleans it.
How Minionlabs can help airports?
With Minionlabs UV Saaph, airport authorities can sanitise mobile phones, laptops and more in less than four minutes. The UV-C device has been independently assessed, and is in compliant with the requirement of the ISO 15858:2016. It is non-toxic and scientifically designed to achieve 360-degree disinfection without missing an inch.