Gatwick is reportedly the first airport in the U.K. to treat its security trays with ultraviolet (UV) light energy to protect passengers and staff and reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other infections in the high-touch surface area.

The system passes each tray pass through a UV tunnel under the hand luggage screening system. As trays exit the scanners, each tray is treated immediately before the next passenger uses it. The airport trailed the system, from Smiths Detection, on a single security lane earlier this summer and laboratory tests demonstrated 99.9% disinfection rate with every tray treated immediately before each passenger uses it.

Gatwick will roll out the system on eight lanes at its North Terminal by the end of this month.

“The health and wellbeing of our passengers and staff remains our priority. The system goes above and beyond the guidelines and we will continue to do everything we can to help reassure our passengers that flying is still a great travelling experience and that the health measures we have in place are effective and easy to follow," Adrian Witherow, Chief Operating Officer, Gatwick Airport, stated.

The airport says that the UV-C light is contained within a covered unit, ensuring no risk of exposure to either passengers or staff.