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Ford International Airport testing UV technology to help fight COVID-19

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Posted at 6:43 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 18:43:14-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Gerald R. Ford International Airport is the first airport test site for a new autonomous robot that disinfects using ultraviolet technology, a news release said Wednesday.

UV technology works on a molecular level to destroy the microbiology of the coronavirus.

The tools the airport will be using in addition to the robot include a shoe disinfectant mat for guests, a pod that can be used to clean wheelchairs and luggage trolleys and a chamber for personal items like phones, keys and tablets.

The robot is part of the airport’s Fly Safe. Fly Ford. Education campaign.

“As we researched holistic solutions to combat the spread of COVID-19, it became evident UV technology has been proven in other industries to kill the virus, so we made the decision to test it at the Ford Airport,” said Tim Haizlip, director of maintenance. “As an airport, we’re focused on both innovation and a superior guest experience, so this technology could be a natural fit for us.”

The robot kills 99.99% of bacteria, viruses and fungi and can move around without human interaction. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to disinfect a room and doesn’t use any chemicals, according to the news release.

The products being tested emit a light spectrum of 254 nanometers, which kills COVID-19 and other viruses, including the common cold.