MacArthur Airport installs sanitizing units to help fight virus

Long Island MacArthur Airport has deployed the Continuous Air Pathogen Reduction System, a.k.a. CASPR. Officials there say it is the first major airport in the world to use this COVID-19-fighting tool.

Air from around the unit goes through a catalytic converter process using a UV light. The system converts oxygen and moisture into a safe amount of hydrogen peroxide, which is then released into the air to reduce pathogens by over 99%.

Officials say one unit, depending on the size, can sanitize up to a 4,500-square-foot space. 

"We really need to come up with the technology that will ensure that customers and employees feel confident in coming back and using the airport," MacArthur Airport Commissioner Shelley LaRose Arken said. "We purchased eight units and those eight units are deployed in high-traffic areas, the bag claim units, we have a couple deployed in the ticketing area as well as the TSA checkpoints and the hold rooms near the gates."

The airport, which is in the Town of Islip, paid about $10,000 for all of the units.

"The tourism industry certainly is fueled by the airlines and airports around the country so whatever we can do to help expedite the expense of safety and comfort," Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter said.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, flights at the airport have dropped by more than 75%. 

In the coming months, the airport will install special virus-fighting film on high-touch door handles and surfaces. The town also hopes to implement CASPR into senior centers and other public areas as they prepare to reopen.


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