In October 2020, Westminster’s charity, the Westminster Group Foundation, donated a Sanitary Gate sanitising tunnel to the Sierra Leone Aviation Authority, who installed it at Freetown International Airport in Lungi. The tunnel is used to sanitise passengers within the airport, as well as to maintain high safety levels. Inside the tunnel is a disinfectant liquid effective in reducing the viral load present on surfaces by 99% in just 5 seconds, without causing harm to humans.
The Westminster Foundation has been actively supporting charitable causes in Sierra Leone for many years and donated stable commodities during the lockdown in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Foundation also provided support during the Ebola Crisis and continues to work with many local projects, providing funding and equipment wherever it can.
Giulio Barbieri Outdoor Solutions, the manufacturer of the Sanitary Gate sanitising tunnel, recently interviewed Joanna Fowler, Head of Managed Service Division for the Westminster Group and Trustee of the Westminster Foundation, to talk about the donation and its significance for Sierra Leone.
What led Westminster Group to choose Sanitary Gate for Freetown Airport?
We are very active at Freetown Airport: we have been working with them since 2012.
As they were trying to put together their exit plan to start flights up again, we already had fever-detection in place because they had been using it since the Ebola crisis. One of the things we identified quite quickly with regards to the Covid-19 virus is that fever-detection was not as effective as it had been with some of the other viruses.
As we were moving much more towards sanitisation products, the Westminster Group saw Sanitary Gate and felt it was a good fit to improve passengers and stakeholders’ confidence and to help increase passengers’ flow without impacting their experience. It is very easy to install and very low-maintenance, and all those factors put together made us feel it was the best fit for that environment.
> How would you assess the socio-economic impact of such an instrument?
As soon as people disembark the aircraft, they can see it, it gives them a nice feeling of security. The Sierra Leone Aviation Authority is grateful for the donation that we made because it has just helped them in speaking to the airlines and in encouraging them to fly back into Sierra Leone and start rebooting the economy.
> What is the significance of the donation you made?
Because it is a large investment, it has attracted a lot of publicity, but for Westminster Group Foundation this donation is just the tip of the iceberg of what we actually do on a daily basis. We are continually trying to assist people locally where we operate, be it in the UK or in any other country where we are present. We try to help wherever we can.