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World’s Busiest Airport Adopts New Tech to Fight COVID-19

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 5/28/2020 Laurie Baratti
a view of a building: Hartsfield Jackson International airport in Atlanta, Georgia, USA © iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus / TasfotoNL Hartsfield Jackson International airport in Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), normally the world’s busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic (when there isn’t a pandemic on), is taking trailblazing steps to improve facilities hygiene, and restore passenger and employee confidence that’s been shaken by COVID-19.

In the coming months, ATL will become the first to deploy a new, cutting-edge, hygiene-tracking technology from GP PRO, a division of Georgia-Pacific and a leading provider of advanced dispensing solutions for commercial facilities. Its soon-to-be-released KOLO Hygiene product is an innovative new feature of the existing KOLO Smart Monitoring System, a wirelessly connected facilities management system designed to help monitor, measure and manage day-to-day performance of the airport’s heightened cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting practices.

Dr. Kofi Smith, president and CEO of Atlanta Airlines Terminal Company, which provides facility management services for ATL, commented: “Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic reducing air travel to near negligible levels, we need to quickly and dramatically do even more, particularly as it relates to protecting the health and safety of our airport staff and the traveling public. We hope to use GP PRO’s smart technology to do that and, as a result, help drive our industry’s and our nation’s recovery.”

The KOLO system is a wireless Internet of Things (IoT), cloud-based platform that utilizes advanced sensor technology within bathroom fixtures to create real-time alerts, which are then communicated to custodians on their mobile devices. It helps ensure that restrooms remain constantly in clean, working order, and fully-stocked with soap, hand sanitizer, toilet paper and paper towels, so that customers are never met with an empty station.

The KOLO Hygiene feature, which will be released in July, builds upon this promise to level-up airport sanitation practices by enabling facility managers to create customized lists of cleaning, stocking and disinfection tasks to meet guidelines set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

The IoT platform then automatically alerts custodians of requisite tasks and, through an online dashboard, updates management as to their status through completion. KOLO Hygiene will also create a composite hygiene readiness score so that facility managers can track how well the airport is meeting its hygiene goals.

ATL is also currently installing around 250 additional smart hand-sanitizer stations throughout such public common areas as gates, baggage claim and train tunnels, all connected through the KOLO system to an app that custodians to monitor usage levels and promptly refill those that are running low.

Michael Slawson, GP PRO’s vice president and general manager, Smart Restrooms and Connected Devices, said: “We know that a facility’s ability to achieve and demonstrate elevated levels of clean will be key to advancing consumer and employee confidence and, as a result, the country’s economic recovery, which is why we are quickly moving to deploy this data-driven solution.”

Related video: This Airport Was Just Named the World's Busiest Airport for the 21st Year in a Row (Provided by Travel + Leisure)

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