Amid indications that domestic flights could resume after the lockdown ends, DIAL, which operates Delhi airport, has said it will use several technology-driven facilities at the airport including specially designed UV-based (ultraviolet) tunnels to disinfect trays and baggage, mobile UV tower to disinfect surfaces in terminal area and hand-held UV devices.
A passenger trolley disinfection system and walk-in shoe sanitizer mats will also be used for passenger safety in the conditions created by COVID-19.
A joint team of DGCA, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security Office, AAI, Delhi International Airport Limited ( DIAL) and CISF has visited Delhi airport and taken a detailed note of the preparedness.
The technology-based facilities are already being provided to passengers using evacuation flights.
In a statement, DIAL said it has developed state-of-the-art facilities that will disinfect all trolleys and trays with UV technology. The trolleys are the first touch point of passengers at the airport.
The used trolleys and trays can be passed one after another and each of it will take approximately five seconds to be free of any virus, the statement said.
The passengers can see the baggage disinfection process in UV tunnel through CCTV and a prototype has been installed at baggage belt area.
“A live CCTV feed of UV scanning process mounted in baggage reclaim hall allows passengers to see the disinfecting process, in which high-intensity UV lamps are being used for disinfection of their bags,” DIAL said.
Movable mobile disinfection towers have also been placed at the airport terminal. The moveable towers will be placed in properly cordoned areas of the terminal and UV lamps will be operated and disinfection done.
Once disinfection is completed, UV power will be switched off and towers will manually be re-located to other areas for similar process, the statement said.
Electronic items including mobiles, desktops, laptops will be disinfected through torches placed at the security check-in area, it said.
With shoes seen as potential carriers of virus, shoe sanitizer mats have been placed at strategic places which are soaked with chemical that will disinfect the shoes of the passengers. There are also germicidal lamps that produce ultraviolet light.
“This short-wave ultraviolet light disrupts DNA based paring, causing the formation of pyrimidine dimers and leads to the inactivation of bacteria, viruses and protozoa,” DIAL said.
Disinfection process also covers toilets and enough sanitiser bottles have been placed, the statement said.
It said there are sensor-based taps in passenger washrooms, foot-operated sanitizer dispensers, and paddle-operated drinking water fountain.
DIAL said over 335 automatic hand sanitizer dispensers, which are battery or electricity- operated, are in process of being strategically deployed at the terminal so that regular sanitizing is encouraged among passengers. The dispensers are equipped with various refill sizes of up to two litres.
Intense sanitisation of washrooms, terminal buildings and other passenger touch points is being conducted contain the spread of novel coronavirus once the airport starts full-fledged operations.
A DIAL spokesperson said it has been working round the clock during the COVID-19 crisis with the sole aim of keeping passengers safe at any cost.
“We have not only focused on the evacuation and relief flights but also on passengers who will be travelling through our airport post the lockdown.”
“Since trolleys and baggage of the passengers can be a medium of the spread of the infection, DIAL has developed a number of UV technology based machines and similar disinfection tunnels that will help disinfect various touch points of the passengers. We have also put in place shoe sanitizing mats.”
These facilities are deployed at several strategic points at the airport. These initiatives have been taken to enhance passenger safety owing to the present conditions caused by COVID-19,”
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