TSA explores use of ultraviolet light to disinfect checkpoint bins

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is trialling the use of new technology that uses ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light to disinfect airport checkpoint bins in a bid to provide safer checkpoint experiences and prevent the spread of Covid-19 and other viruses and bacteria.

The trial is being carried out at two checkpoints at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport by the TSA’s Innovation Task Force to determine the equipment’s ability to reach the required UV-C dosage and reduce the number of pathogens on the checkpoint bins. The assessment seeks to determine efficacy in creating a more hygienic security checkpoint, while maintaining operational efficiency and balancing space and staff requirements.

“TSA continuously tests and deploys innovative technologies into operational checkpoint environments that seek to improve the checkpoint experience for airline passengers,” said Scott T Johnson, TSA federal security director for the airport. “We are excited to test technologies that might prove effective in disinfecting checkpoint bins and eventually provide another layer of protection against viral and bacterial spread.”

The standalone conveyer belt systems expose bins directly to UV-C light as the rollers advance them through the system. In the lab environment, TSA conducted efficacy testing using digital and sticker dosimeters placed on the bins to evaluate UV-C dosage, safety and processing times. TSA anticipates the equipment will have no impact on passenger screening times or the efficiency of the checkpoint screening process.

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With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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