Threat detection and security screening technologies provider Smiths Detection, along with New Zealand Aviation Security Service (AvSec), has finished the installation of 18 units of its new ultraviolet (UV) light tray disinfection kit at airports across the country.

With this deployment, AvSec New Zealand aims to alleviate the risk of Covid-19 transmission and improve public safety at airports.

Around six units have been deployed at Auckland, four units at Wellington, two units at Dunedin Airport (DUD) and six units at Christchurch International Airport (CHC).

According to Smiths Detection, these UV disinfection kits have been proven by independent laboratory tests to eradicate up to 99.9% of pathogens, including coronaviruses, detected on trays at checkpoints.

AvSec capability group manager Ben Smith said: “Smiths Detection’s UV disinfection kits help ensure that surface contamination and the spread of viruses are minimised during security screenings, providing peace of mind to passengers and airport staff.

“This ongoing working relationship with Smiths Detection helps bolster New Zealand’s capabilities in safeguarding passenger health and safety across airports where AvSec screens, which we see as important in boosting consumer trust during the gradual recovery and resumption of aviation travel.”

By using short-wavelength UV light (UVC), which is frequently used in healthcare and industrial production for decontamination, the UV kit alters the genetic material’s structure.

As a result, it does not allow the viral particles to infect or multiply.

These kits are shielded with metal housing, preventing exposure of the travellers and staff to UV light.

Smiths Detection Australia and New Zealand managing director Jordan Thrupp said: “Our UVC technology at checkpoints helps provide a high level of reassurance to passengers, as well as airport staff. I hope we can take our experience to other airports in the region which are going through similar challenges and restore confidence in travelling.”

Last month, Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) in France said that it is testing the ultraviolet (UVC) automatic tray disinfection technology from Smiths Detection.

Smiths Detection is conducting this trial in partnership with Groupe ADP, formerly known as Aéroports de Paris.