In the face of one of the biggest challenges ever to hit the aviation industry, companies responded swiftly. These are the airport innovations that are poised to restore traveler confidence.
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Amorph Systems – IDCS
This platform analyzes airport health checks in real time and models the potential spread of infection after noting a positive result. It helps airport operators decide on containment measures, direct sanitization efforts and reroute traveler flows.
Avidbots – Neo
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport was the first American airport to adopt this floor-scrubbing robot. It uses AI, cameras and 3-D sensors to change its route automatically and avoid obstacles. It runs continuously, only stopping to charge. The next-generation version is called Neo 2.
Coforge – Health Passport
Coforge and online verification platform APPII developed a digital health passport solution that helps determine and verify the health status of an individual. Travelers can upload a COVID-19 certificate that can be verified by airport authorities upon the user’s consent.
Daon – VeriFLY
This app allows travelers to reserve a time to pass through security as long as they fill out a digital COVID-19 health questionnaire 24 hours before their flight. A temperature scan awaits VeriFLY users at the airport, preventing feverish travelers from proceeding to security screening. DEN is the first airport to use the solution.
Elenium Automation – Elenium Vitals
Elenium offers touchless bag-drop and check-in kiosks with a twist: The machines also measure temperature, heartbeat and respiration rate via thermal imaging. If these point to potential illness, the process is suspended and staff are alerted. Etihad began testing the technology in April.
Evri – Evri Hygiene
This Silicon Valley startup invented a self-driving robot that dispenses hand sanitizer while measuring the user’s temperature. The company also offers a robot that verifies whether physical-distancing and mask requirements are being satisfied.
Fast Travel Global – eTag
This double-sided electronic bag tag has e-ink displays that travelers configure during at-home check-in. This eliminates airport printing touchpoints. eTag also notifies travelers when their bag is on the belt.
Further Corporation – Further Network
Blockchain technology powers this solution, which helps travel-industry stakeholders handle billing, settlement and payment in real time with no intermediary. The company also envisions the creation of a travel process that combines travel history, health history and biometric ID data.
GE Aviation – Health Application ID
Launched in June, this health credential app is designed to medically screen staff and travelers, as well as track cabin disinfection item by item. Passengers can view an aircraft’s cleaning history through the app. All data is brought together and secured by Microsoft Azure Blockchain Service.
GP PRO – KOLO Smart Monitoring System
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the launch customer for this IoT-based facilities management system that keeps tabs on restroom fixtures and alerts custodians when items like soap and paper towels are running low. A feature called Kolo Hygiene creates lists of stocking and disinfection tasks according to official guidelines.
Honeywell – ThermoRebellion
This AI-powered thermal imager tracks health info on airport personnel seeking access to the building. It can register skin temperature in two seconds and recognize whether a subject is wearing the personal protective equipment required to enter.
InSuide Technologies – WiseFly
This airport wayfinding app added social-distancing alerts so that users are notified when they come too close to one another. Airlines and airports can implement this feature in their own apps and glean real-time insights on crowding.
LED Future – UVC-LED
Airport operator Finavia tested UVC-LED disinfection technology supplied by LED Future to disinfect empty security trays after each use. The product is based on research conducted by the University of Helsinki, the University of Eastern Finland and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.
Leidos – Antimicrobial Security Tray
As part of an agreement announced in June, Edinburgh Airport received new antimicrobial security trays produced by Leidos. An additive is built into the tray during manufacturing and will not wear off during cleaning.
Marakeb Technologies – Codi Bot UGV
This UVC autonomous cleaning robot was piloted in May at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s staff areas and cargo facilities, as well as in the cabins of parked aircraft. It can also disinfect areas using liquid cleaners and has a camera that detects body temperature.
Mero – MeroSupply and MeroTraffic
Toronto-based company Mero markets MeroSupply sensors, which monitor the status of dispensers and consumables, and MeroTraffic sensors that provide updates on the status of crowding and cleaning operations in spaces like restrooms.
Modus Systems – Tooshlights
Smart bathroom stall latches activate a series of overhead lights, providing a touchless way for restroom patrons to determine whether a stall is occupied or not. Travelers can avoid entering a crowded washroom altogether after taking a quick glance at the stall usage monitors.
NEC – Facial recognition and thermal temperature screening
NEC Corporation of America and its partner company, Infrared Cameras, offer temperature scanners equipped with facial-recognition technology that can help airport staff identify travelers with fever. By the end of this year, the Government of Hawaii plans to implement these solutions at publicly owned airports in the state.
Pangea – Biometric Smart Card
Digital interaction firm Pangea believes that its smart cards could be used by border security to verify a traveler’s COVID-19 status, acting as an immunity passport. The cards can be linked to a country’s medical database or work offline by loading pertinent info onto the embedded chip.
Prepango – PPE Vending Machine
These vending machines sell personal protective equipment like face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and wipes. In June, CEO Marcos Modiano said the machines were installed at 30 airports in the US.
SITA – SITA Flex
SITA’s cloud-based, open API platform enables contactless passenger processing. SITA Flex allows travelers to use their mobile device as a remote control for touchpoints like self-bag drop and check-in kiosks. The solution has been rolled out at San Francisco International Airport.
Thales – Cogent Face Recognition Platform (FRP)
The algorithm at the core of this platform was refined by Thales to be able to recognize people with 99-percent accuracy even when they are wearing a mask. It does this by focusing more on the eye area.
UCE Machines – CleanBox
A 2016 study found that, of all the surfaces at the airport, plastic security bins harbored the most respiratory viruses. This led UCE to develop CleanBox, a device that treats the trays with an antibacterial solution that is effective for 72 hours.
Vehant Technologies – KritiScan UV Baggage Disinfection System
This luggage disinfection tunnel, developed in association with the International Advanced Research Center for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials, comes in various sizes and is suitable for high-throughput areas like airports. It uses UVC light to neutralize pathogens.
Veovo – Virtual Queuing and Passenger Density Management
Airports looking to solidify social-distancing initiatives can use Veovo’s Virtual Queuing solution, which allows travelers to book a time for airport processing, thus preventing bottlenecks. Another tool is Passenger Density Management, which uses sensors to alert airport operators to high crowd density.
Vision-Box – Seamless Boarding Gateway
In July, Vision-Box implemented these e-gates at Terminal 1 of Kansai International Airport. They allow travelers to self-scan boarding passes, reducing contact with staff. Biometric identification can be implemented into the system.
WinMar Engineering Technologies – GermBuster-Air
WinMar Engineering Technologies has partnered with Excimer Wave Sterilray on several anti-virus products for airlines and airports, including this unit, which sterilizes air that passes through an airport’s HVAC ducts using far-UVC light.
Xenex – LightStrike Robot
San Antonio International Airport is using this homegrown technology to disinfect the facility. The LightStrike Robot uses bursts of broad-spectrum UV light to disinfect a room in under 15 minutes.
Xovis – Xovis Sensors
Already adept at manufacturing people flow-management sensors, Xovis is encouraging airports to adopt its technology to oversee social-distancing protocols. Stuttgart Airport is using Xovis sensors already installed in the facility for this purpose.
Yates+Partners – SafeGo
This solution brings together over
20 technologies to enable a contactless journey from the curb to the aircraft door. SafeGo’s software makes use of facial recognition, IoT and location intelligence.
Zensors – Zensors
Using machine learning and no additional hardware, Zensors can extract data from the images produced by any closed-circuit camera system. For instance, it can count the number of people in a room and keep occupancy levels in check.
“100 Solutions to Pandemic Problems” was originally published in the 10.4 November/December issue of APEX Experience magazine.