Japan airport trials device to disinfect luggage carts amid pandemic

Kansai International Airport in Osaka has started trial use of a device that emits ultraviolet light to disinfect luggage carts, hoping it will make passengers feel safer amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In laboratory experiments, the device proved effective in deactivating the COVID-19-causing virus, said Iwasaki Electric Co, its developer based in Tokyo.

Measuring 4 meters in length, 1.1 meters in width and 1.8 meters in height, the device can disinfect up to 10 carts at the same time in about 90 seconds. It was installed in Terminal 1 of the airport, its operator Kansai Airports said.

Passengers can check when a cart was sterilized by scanning a QR code attached to it with a smartphone. About 1,200 carts are being used in the trial, which will last until March.

The airport operator will collect data such as passenger usage of the carts before deciding whether to fully deploy the equipment.

“We will see how (the system) will affect passengers’ sense of safety,” an official of Kansai Airports said.