Gatwick Airport in the UK has rolled out ultraviolet (UV) technology to disinfect security trays amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Delivered by Smiths Detection, the system uses short-wavelength UV-C light to disinfect the trays, which are one of the most commonly touched surfaces in the airport.

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Each tray is passed through a covered ‘UV-tunnel’ underneath the hand luggage screening system to ensure that they are treated immediately before use.

Gatwick Airport decided to implement the system following a one-month pilot on a single security lane in July. According to the airport, the technology demonstrated a 99.9% microbe disinfection rate in laboratory tests.

By the end of this month, the new system will be rolled out on eight lanes in Gatwick’s North Terminal.

Gatwick Airport chief operating officer Adrian Witherow said: “The health and wellbeing of our passengers and staff remains our priority.

“The system goes above and beyond the guidelines and we will continue to do everything we can to help reassure our passengers that flying is still a great travelling experience and that the health measures we have in place are effective and easy to follow.

“This new system has proven itself to be extremely reliable and provides a really high degree of reassurance as every single passenger and staff member using the system will have a tray that has only just been disinfected.”

Gatwick has also implemented several other steps to minimise Covid-19 contagion risks, including enhanced deep cleaning of common-use surfaces, installation of around 500 Perspex screens, social distancing protocols and around 200 sanitising stations.

Last month, the airport announced plans to axe around 600 jobs in a bid to reduce operating costs.