Finavia to trial UVC technology to disinfect airport security control trays

The Finnish airport operator, Finavia, will start disinfecting security control trays with UVC light technology that is designed to kill bacteria and viruses. In a statement released on September 3, it said that during the pilot project, several types of equipment – based on different technologies – will be tested at several security control lines.

Finavia’s Ulla Lettijeff, who is Helsinki Airport’s executive director, explained: “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we already upgraded the cleaning process of security control trays during the spring, but the aim of the pilot project is to raise hygiene standards to a new level and find the best UVC disinfection method for the airport environment. Our expectations are high for the performance of the equipment we are piloting.”

The disinfection technology tested at the airport is based on UVC light, used for the cleaning of surfaces in, among others, health care and the food industry. UVC effectively destroys bacteria on surfaces.

Ms Lettijeff said that Finavia introduced more efficient wash cycles and disinfection practices for security control trays even before the coronavirus crisis had hit Finland. She explained: “This new technology will help us intensify disinfection even further and improve cleaning standards. We will now be able to disinfect empty security control trays quickly after each use.”

The aim is to first carry out a pilot programme to gain experience of using the new technology. The pilot involves testing of a variety of different equipment to find the product that best suits the airport environment.

The technology is supplied among others by the Finnish company LedFuture Oy, which delivered a LED-technology based disinfection solution for testing by Finavia. According to LedFuture, the UVC-LED disinfection technology is energy efficient, environmentally friendly and quick in comparison with traditional cleaning methods, and it is based on research by the University of Helsinki, the University of Eastern Finland and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.