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Published in Economic Development
Grand Rapids airport testing new UV products to disinfect surfaces COURTESY PHOTO

Grand Rapids airport testing new UV products to disinfect surfaces

BY MIBIZ STAFF Wednesday, August 12, 2020 05:06pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Gerald R. Ford International Airport is trying out a new robot and other tools that disinfect using ultraviolet (UV) technology in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Under a partnership with Lowell-based UVC Experts and Florida-based iP Program, the Grand Rapids airport is piloting a number of UV-equipped products that can disinfect surfaces, open areas and personal belongings in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. They include a shoe-disinfectant mat for guests, a pod to clean wheelchairs and luggage trolleys, and a chamber for personal items such as phones, keys and tablets.

“As we researched holistic solutions to combat the spread of COVID-19, it became evident UV technology has been proven in other industries to kill the virus, so we made the decision to test it at the Ford Airport,” Tim Haizlip, Ford Airport’s director of maintenance, said in a statement. “As an airport, we’re focused on both innovation and a superior guest experience, so this technology could be a natural fit for us.

UV technology behind each of the units “is the most promising disinfection tool” on the market for the coronavirus, said Larry Perez, chief operating officer of UVC Experts. The airport provides a unique setting to test the tools, he added.

“As we all work to return back to normal, looking at innovative ways to keep everyone safe is going to be critical,” Perez said.

Ford Airport also has partnered with Michigan-based engineering firm Pratt & Miller Engineering to test a Large Area Autonomous Disinfecting Vehicle to apply disinfecting solutions on high-contact areas including seats and gates.

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