Charlotte Douglas International Airport is investing in the latest technology to help deter the spread of COVID-19 and give passengers the confidence to fly again.
“As air travel begins to pick up for spring and summer, we want to reassure our passengers and employees that CLT is providing the safest facility possible,” said Acting Aviation Director Haley Gentry. “The Airport has chosen to take a multi-layer approach by enhancing our cleaning practices as well as utilizing innovative tools for sanitation.”
CLT is expecting more than 17,000 local passengers (customers who begin their trip at CLT) on March 14. Although well below previous years, it will be the third-highest number of local passengers (behind Dec. 27, 2020 and Jan. 3,2021) since the pandemic began in mid-March 2020.
The following safety measures have been implemented through CLT’s Healthy Building Initiative to combat COVID-19.
Bipolar ionization has been integrated into CLT’s HVAC system. The technology releases ions into the air that latch onto and disable viruses, allergens, bacteria and airborne mold to provide continuous disinfection.
UV-C light installation is underway on escalator and moving sidewalk handrails. Completion is scheduled for the end of March. The UV-C lights eliminate harmful bacteria on handrail surfaces as it passes through the mechanical modules as it rotates, delivering nonstop sanitization. Passengers will not see the equipment because it’s underneath the people movers, but they can have confidence that the UV-C lights are working.
The airport installed more than 1,200 MERV-13 filters, which trap 98 percent of airborne particles, including mold, pet dander, bacteria and particles that carry viruses, such as COVID-19. MERV-13 filters work up to 30 times more effectively and lasts three times longer than ordinary fiberglass filters.
In December, Charlotte Douglas earned Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Star Facility Accreditation. CLT is the first airport in North Carolina and one of 13 in the country to earn GBAC accreditation for its cleaning and infectious disease protocols.
Housekeeping crews at CLT continue to provide daily and deep cleanings with extra attention given to high-touch points and an electrostatically charged mist is sprayed on often-touched surfaces.
In 2020, CLT also installed protective shields in all TSA security checkpoint lines and at many customer service counters – from stores to ticket counters to parking toll booths – for added passenger and employee safety.
“The Airport is committed to providing a healthy and enjoyable travel experience,” said Gentry. “We’ll continue to implement the highest safety standards as we welcome passengers who were apprehensive about flying in 2020 back to the terminal in 2021.”