San Antonio International Airport (SAT) said last week it has become the first airport in the world to employ the Xenex LightStrike robot – the only ultraviolet (UV) room disinfection technology proven to deactivate SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19.

The LightStrike robot uses bursts of intense UV light to destroy hard-to-kill viruses and bacteria found in common places and hard-to-clean spaces.  Using environmentally-friendly pulsed xenon, the portable LightStrike can disinfect an area in 10-15 minutes without warm-up or cool-down time, enabling its use to disinfect high-traffic areas without a disruption to passengers.

“The health and safety of our employees and passengers has always been our number-one priority,” said Jesus Saenz, Jr., director of airports for the City of San Antonio.  “The acquisition of the Xenex LightStrike robot is just the latest innovative enhancement to our daily operations and efforts to ensure that traveling through San Antonio International Airport is the easiest and safest experience passengers can encounter.”

Operated by the airport’s terminal services staff, LightStrike will be used on jet bridges, gate areas, ticketing counters, baggage claim, concessions, elevators and restrooms – anywhere there are high-touch surfaces or high volumes of traffic.

“COVID-19 nearly caused the aviation industry to stop in its tracks,” said Dr. Mark Stibich, chief scientific officer and co-founder of Xenex.  “Putting an effective infection prevention infrastructure in place is essential, and we are proud to partner with San Antonio International Airport in leading the aviation industry in this effort.”