Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh International Airport in the US has partnered with Honeywell to test air quality improvement technology at xBridge, the airport’s newly opened innovation centre.

Pittsburgh Airport is now the first US airport to install Honeywell’s Healthy Buildings dashboard and air quality sensing technology.

To enhance its public health efforts, the airport will also use Honeywell Forge enterprise performance management software.

The dashboard at xBridge will calculate key indoor air quality (IAQ) parameters, including temperature, particulate matter, humidity, carbon dioxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOC).

For identifying and fixing critical building control issues, the Healthy Buildings dashboard will give real-time updates on the airport’s air quality performance through a network of IAQ sensors.

The dashboard has been designed to integrate seamlessly with the airport’s current systems.

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In addition, Honeywell Forge software will be deployed to check and resolve maintenance issues regarding the airport’s air filters.

Pittsburgh International Airport public safety, operations, and maintenance senior vice-president April Gasparri said: “Public health, safety and security are always the top priorities at Pittsburgh International Airport. Working with companies like Honeywell through our xBridge innovation centre allows us to not only test new technologies but also look for ways to solve bigger challenges that will improve the experience for our airline partners, staff and passengers.

“The emphasis on air quality has greatly increased due to Covid-19, and airports must look to adjust our facilities for the long term to create safer environments for travellers and the people who make travel happen every day.”

In the future, passengers will be able to access the building health information in a user-friendly dashboard.

Honeywell Building Technologies services vice-president and general manager Keith Fisher said: “Airports face challenges managing indoor air quality such as outdoor pollutants from airside operations, varying occupancy density and numerous zones with different heating and cooling demands. The team at Pittsburgh International Airport has an innovative mindset and is looking to identify ways to further improve its indoor air quality to solve these problems.

“We’ve been able to deploy new solutions at Pittsburgh International Airport to keep it current with the latest technology and create a safer and healthier space without any downtime.”

In a separate development, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has mounted new acrylic shields at Dubuque Regional Airport’s main security checkpoint and the alternative checkpoint, to curb the spread of Covid-19.

TSA Iowa federal security director John Bright said: “The installation of these shields at the locations where passengers and TSA officers interact is one of several initiatives that TSA has put in place with the goal of reducing the likelihood of cross-contamination among travellers and employees to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.”