Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport flies into the future with UV light hand sanitizing

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AVOCA, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) —  Facemasks, hand sanitizers and social distancing have been a way of life ever since passenger flights resumed during the pandemic.

But lately, another safety measure is in place at one of the busiest airports in northeastern and central Pennsylvania.

As air passengers at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport make their way up and down the escalators, there’s something at work 24/7 that many of them don’t even notice.

“I have never seen those,” passenger Bridget Biggs from Gilbert, Arizona, said.

Self-described frequent traveler Bridget Biggs was getting her first look at UV escalator handrail cleaners at any airport she’s been to. The UV lights are installed on the airport’s two sets of escalators. One pair takes customers to and from the terminal and the other pair to get back and forth between the parking garage.

“That’s awesome. That’s extra special then, then you feel extra clean. Safe. Safe is a good thing,” passenger Marian Glancy of Mesa, Arizona said.

The airport obtained the UV handrail cleaning technology a couple of months ago according to its executive director.

“It’s safer. People feel more comfortable putting their hands on the handrails and it zaps any bacteria or viruses that someone might have on the handrails,” airport executive director Carl Beardsley said.

Beardsley says by having a safe UV handrail cleaning system, it should encourage passengers to grab onto the handrails when they might otherwise fear they would come in contact with viruses and germs. Avoiding handrails comes with a risk of travelers falling and that’s the last thing anyone wants inside the terminal.

“I have to hang onto something when I’m traveling just because your equilibrium gets off and it’s nice to have those to know that they’re clean,” Biggs said.

“I feel more safer now so I can actually hold the handrail now and not feel like my hands are dirty,” Rikesh Patel of Mountain Top said.

Getting a grip on viruses and germs thanks to UV technology. The airport executive director says the UV handrail cleaning system will be used even after the pandemic ends.

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