Airlines and airports have had to quickly adapt during the coronavirus outbreak in order to keep people safe and healthy. According to the Transportation Security Administration, fewer than 100,000 people went through airport checkpoints in the U.S. on April 20, which is drastically lower than the 2.6 million people on the same day in 2019. With so few people traveling, airports are taking precautions to help keep people safe as they travel. If you still have to travel during this time, we wanted to share some of the new technology being used and developed.
Health experts are recommending people stay at least 6 feet away from one another to counter the spread of the disease. For those of us who have stepped foot in an airport, we all obviously know that staying 6 feet away from someone else seems like an impossible task. To fix this, iinside, a motion analytics company, developed a new technology called SafeDistance to help with airport social distancing. This technology is able to measure the average distance between people in security lines, as well as the length of time they remain at a comfortable distance. This will help airport workers and travelers stay aware and practice safer social distancing.
SafeDistance is already being implemented by a handful of airports, but could be featured in many airports moving forward. The airports currently implementing the SafeDistance service include:
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
- Indianapolis International Airport.
- McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
- Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
- Miami International Airport.
- Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport in Mississippi.
- San Jose International Airport.
One of the tricky parts about the coronavirus is that it can sometimes be difficult to tell if someone carries the virus, as many are asymptomatic. In order to help identify these at-risk travelers, Etihad Airways is rolling out a trial of new technology that can monitor the temperature, heart and respiratory rate of any person at various airport checkpoints. This was developed by Elenium Automation and is a contact-less way to help curb the spread of the virus. Etihad will begin using this technology for volunteers, but will test more people as the number of flights increase.
Even when restrictions are lifted and the coronavirus is under more control, health testing and new technologies will stay in use in order to help provide reassurance and make travelers more confident. John Holland-Kaye, the CEO of Heathrow Airport in London, believes that even health tests for passengers will be more common going forward.
It is important for everyone to stay up to date so they can make appropriate changes to their travel or travel policy decisions going forward, as well as continue to take time and safety into consideration with the new technology that come into effect.
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