ABQ Sunport Implements Air Quality Control, Additional Enhanced Cleaning Practices to Further Ensure Traveler Safety

Jul 20, 2021

Today, Mayor Tim Keller and officials from the Albuquerque International Sunport announced the completion of new indoor air quality control upgrades with the installation of Steril-Aire ultraviolet-C germicidal irradiation (UVGI) systems. These new solutions sanitize HVAC systems to help eliminate and decontaminate airborne pathogens, allergens, toxins and irritants by targeting the DNA of microorganisms, destroying their cells and reducing replication. The system, which will help protect against airborne viruses, has been installed in a number of large City facilities to-date.

As demand for air travel continues to rebound following the COVID-19 pandemic, New Mexico’s largest commercial airport continues to implement new safety procedures that prioritize the health and safety of travelers, employees, and the community.

“The Sunport has been one of many City services that has remained operational throughout the course of the pandemic, providing essential services to folks while putting health and safety at the forefront of its operations,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “First with the addition of autonomous disinfecting robots, and now with the installation of this UVGI technology, the Sunport continues to be at the forefront of cleanliness technology helping to keep our community healthy.”

With tens of millions of Americans expected to return to the skies this summer across the country – currently trending at a more than 400% daily increase compared to last year – the Sunport’s passenger traffic continues to increase, its latest 30-day average showing a 220% increase over last year, making it more essential than ever to protect people in the spaces and places where they live, work and travel.

The addition of this ultraviolet-c indoor air quality (IAQ) system adds another layer to the Sunport’s protective measures implemented to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, COVID-19 variants, and other airborne illnesses including everything from plexiglass partitions and social distancing markers to an autonomous system of disinfecting robots.

“The health and safety of travelers and the community has been and will continue to be our top priority,” said Nyika Allen, Director of Aviation. “Addressing indoor air quality with science-backed UVGI technologies is the next evolution for the Sunport in creating an even safer, cleaner, and more sanitary environment through Covid and beyond.”

These upgrades, funded by a portion of the $48.8M in federal funds secured by the Aviation Department from three rounds of Covid-19 relief grants, represent a long-term investment for both the Sunport and the City of Albuquerque. Not only do these systems help mitigate the spread of coronavirus, UVC delivers continuous HVAC surface and airstream decontamination that reduces airborne mold and bacteria of all kinds, ensuring an overall sanitary environment. In addition, these systems provide significant energy savings and reduced maintenance costs, advancing the sustainability of the Sunport.

“Actions like the City of Albuquerque is taking now are critical in further protecting our country’s public and private environments, such as airports and office buildings, against the airborne illnesses and contaminant risks of today and the unforeseen dangers of the future,” said Steve Gitkin, vice president for Steril-Aire. “Steril-Aire is proud to partner with the Sunport in maintaining its industry-leading safety standards through a solution that will enhance indoor air quality throughout the airport and provide added peace of mind for travelers this summer.”

In addition, the City of Albuquerque has installed Steril-Aire UVGI systems in partnership with Johnston Co. at several of its offices and buildings, including:

  • Albuquerque Regional Dispatch Center
  • City/County Building
  • Law Enforcement Center and APD Main
  • Many Family and Community services facilities
  • Plaza Del Sol
  • All downtown city owned buildings

For more information about the Sunport’s cleaning and sanitation procedures, visit abqsunport.com/covid-19.


About the Albuquerque International Sunport
Owned and operated by the City of Albuquerque’s Aviation Department, The Albuquerque International Sunport is New Mexico’s largest commercial airport, welcoming over 5 million passengers each year. Served by 8 major carriers, the Sunport offers non-stop service between ABQ and more than 20 destinations, all with worldwide connectivity. The Albuquerque International Sunport is the Gateway of New Mexico. For more information, please visit www.abqsunport.com or follow the Sunport on social.

About Steril-Aire
Steril-Aire is a leading innovator of high energy germicidal UVC solutions. Its decades of science-based and technology-backed solutions create a better and safer environment to live, work and breathe. Steril-Aire’s science is groundbreaking in enhancing the indoor air quality of customer working environments. Steril-Aire’s solutions can be found in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, airports, laboratories, government facilities, offices and food safety. Please visit Steril-Aire at www.steril-aire.com.

About Johnston Co.
Offering customized systems and expert consultation, Johnston Co. has been enhancing New Mexico and Texas businesses since 1967. Combining its expertise with that of its network of manufacturers, Johnston Co. provides quality solutions to a variety of industries. From healthcare and medical facilities to airports, warehouses and industrial institutions, Johnston Co. is dedicated to helping clients expand their products and systems in a way that better serves their business and its success. Johnston Co. develops new systems, as well as maintains and repairs existing ones, taking pride in fulfilling the unique demands of each client and ensuring their vision is met from conception to completion. With a commitment to quality and over 50 years of experience, Johnston Co. leads the industry with trusted application solutions that enhance systems and support the overall health and safety of business environments.


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