Delta And The TSA Roll Out Antimicrobial Security Lane Trays

Delta Air Lines has partnered with the Transportation Security Administration to roll out antimicrobial trays at five of its hub airports. The airline says that these bins will help reassure passengers that their belongings will remain ‘clean and safe’ during the security check process.

Delta Air Lines is working with the TSA to roll out antimicrobial security trays. Photo: Getty Images

In the current age of COVID-19, airlines and airports are putting a significant focus on making processes as hygienic as possible. Measures include installing hand sanitization stations, placing perspex at counters, and encouraging passengers to maintain social distancing. Now, the TSA, in partnership with Delta Air Lines, is exploring another possibility.

What’s being rolled out?

Delta and the TSA are rolling out antimicrobial bins at security lanes across the United States. These bins are the trays that you put your bags and pocket contents into so they don’t get caught in the x-ray machine.

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According to the airline, these bins will soon be found in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, New York (LGA), and New York (JFK).  Depending on how the initial rollout goes, the airline may seek to add more locations. Delta is not shy about rolling out innovative new technologies. In January, we reported that the US carrier had rolled out a new smart pet crate.

Delta Air Lines, TSA, Antimicrobial Trays
The trays have been designed to prevent the growth of microbes. Photo: Delta Air Lines

The new bins are equipped with inbuilt antimicrobial technology. This is designed to continuously reduce the presence of microbes in the container during its planned lifespan. According to the airline, the technology works against a broad spectrum of microbes.

Why target security trays?

But why target security trays? Interestingly, almost two years ago to the day, Simple Flying wrote a story about a scientific study on the dangers of viruses spreading in areas of high density, such as airports. The study was conducted at Helsinki’s Vantaa Airport and yielded some interesting results.

Respiratory viruses such as influenza were the most commonly found at the airport. However, the dirtiest place wasn’t the toilet. The highest concentration of such viruses was found in the trays used at x-ray machines. After all, they are typically passed from passenger to passenger with limited cleaning.

TSA Facemasks
A previous study showed that security checkpoints were the worst part of an airport for finding viruses. Photo: Getty Images

At the time virology expert Niina Ikonen said,

“The presence of microbes in the environment of an airport has not been investigated previously. The new findings support preparedness planning for controlling the spread of serious infectious diseases in airports.”

The study shows that introducing antimicrobial trays may be just what is needed as we travel in the age of COVID-19. They will have a positive impact on reducing the number of respiratory viruses lurking in airport security trays. Perhaps other airports will also look to adopt such technology.

What do you make of Delta’s rollout? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!