Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Pilot Program Uses UV Light To Sanitize Escalators

Published: Thursday, September 3, 2020 - 4:21pm
Updated: Friday, September 4, 2020 - 8:26am

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport has unveiled its latest tool in the fight against COVID-19: ultraviolet C (UV-C) light sterilization.

The airport's Gabriel Nevarez says the technology is being applied on the handrails of seven escalators in Terminals 3 and 4.

He says UV-C light kills almost 100% of disease-causing microorganisms on the high-touch handrails.

"UV-C is a lower-spectrum, specific light that is known to be a germicide. So, what it does, that light actually kills and destroys microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and molds," Nevarez said. 

Nevarez says the initial cost runs from $6,000-$10,000 per escalator.

Airport officials are using the pilot phase to ensure the light sterilization can hold up to the demanding airport environment.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the terminals where the technology is being applied.

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