MIAMI – Delta Air Lines (DL) has partnered with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to add new screening bins with built-in antimicrobial technology at its home base, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

A European study from 2018 discovered that plastic screening bins posed the highest risk for viral surface contamination out of anything else in an airport, with the bins even having more viruses detected than toilet seats.

These bins are not new technology, but this effort will be their first implementation at the world’s busiest airport.

ATL’s Concourse F, which serves international flights. Photo: Enrique Perrella

Added Airport Safety

These new bins were purchased through a public-private partnership between the airline and the TSA. The Leidos engineering firm manufactured them with a special additive that continuously minimizes the accumulation of microbes.

While this new technology will aid in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, it is not a replacement for other sanitary measures. TSA is still advising travelers to wash their hands before and after the screening process, in addition to maintaining proper social distancing at the checkpoints.

Additionally, the US transport authority is advising passengers to place pocket items into their carry on luggage rather than putting them directly in the bins so as to minimize contact. DL will also continue to provide hand sanitizer throughout ATL, where it has a near-monopolistic presence.

The carrier has also stated that the innovative bins coming to automated screening lanes at Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Los Angeles, New York-LaGuardia, and New York-JFK this month.

Featured image: Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-941-N401DZ