Hawaii DOT enters third phase of airport thermal screening program

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The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Airports Division has announced the rollout of Phase III of its thermal temperature screening and facial imaging project at Hawaii’s five major airports.

This will involve the installation of facial imaging technology that will help airport representatives efficiently pull aside passengers who have been detected by thermal screening cameras installed during in Phase I and Phase II of the project to have an elevated core body temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) and higher, a common symptom of Covid-19.

“Hawaii continues to implement proactive measures in response to the pandemic and this is one part of a multi-layered process designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and protect the health and safety of the community,” said Governor David Ige. “Utilizing technology such as the thermal temperature screening and facial imaging equipment will also add efficiency to the passenger verification process and bring Hawaii closer to reaching the new normal at our airports.”

Phase I and Phase II, completed in 2020, saw thermal screening cameras installed at all arrival gates to screen passengers as they deplane. Those detected with a core body temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) and higher have their image taken, which is made available to airport representatives for identification. If a manual temperature check confirms the initial temperature reading, the passenger will have an additional medical screening, which includes the option to have a Covid-19 sample taken.

“With the completion of Phase III, HDOT can feel confident in the measures taken to protect the health and safety of its travelers and residents as tourism revives in the state,” said Raffie Beroukhim, chief experience officer for NEC Corporation of America. “We are incredibly proud of NEC’s ability to successfully complete all three phases on time and on budget, and are honored to provide the technology solutions that help bring tourism and air travel in the state of Hawaii closer to the new normal.”

Any images collected remain anonymous, meaning no traveler’s image will be connected to personal information, such as a name, address or driver’s license number. Images are deleted within 30 minutes and will not be shared with any outside agencies.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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