Osaka – Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture on Friday started trials of a device that emits ultraviolet light to disinfect luggage carts, hoping it will make passengers feel safer amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In laboratory experiments, the device proved effective in inactivating the virus that causes COVID-19, said Iwasaki Electric Co., based in Tokyo, which developed the device.
Measuring 4 meters in length, 1.1 meters in width and 1.8 meters in height, the device can disinfect up to 10 carts at the same time in about 90 seconds. It was installed in Terminal 1 of the airport, its operator, Kansai Airports, said.
Passengers can check when a cart was sterilized by scanning a QR code attached to it with a smartphone. About 1,200 carts are being used in the trial, which will continue until March.
The airport operator will collect data such as passenger usage of the carts before deciding whether to fully deploy the equipment.
“We will see how (the system) will affect passengers’ sense of safety,” a Kansai Airports official said.
Similar trials were held at Chubu Centrair International Airport near Nagoya in October and November.
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