Airport security is key to regaining passenger trust in the face of COVID-19

With the arrival of 2021, the promise of effective COVID-19 vaccines gives hope to the airline sector. But we need to start to try and rebuild confidence in air travel safety now to revitalize this badly hit sector. Technology solutions, like contactless check-in, will be essential to achieving this goal and regaining passenger trust.

The highest-rated tech solutions from a Resilience First survey to determine what would make passengers trust air travel, were a full COVID-19 testing program before flying (50%) followed by a contactless experience in the airport (25%).

This survey was released by a panel of airport innovation experts in collaboration with Resilience First and Intel. Led by the Civil Aviation Authority President, Sir Stephen Hillier, the event featured Jaume Portell, Beabloo, CEO and cofounder who illustrated ways of using technology to bring confidence back to the sector.

“Technology has quickly moved from the use of intelligence to create better spaces to its use to protect human beings in airports. The role of technology here is to follow the customer in the airport journey with information, intelligence and automatic protection. We have seen that the interest of the audience for messages that talk about security is 300% higher than any other message that we might share with them,” explains Portell.

Tech solutions specifically help comply with prevention measures and improve safety in physical spaces like offices, stores, airports, supermarkets, and pharmacies. In fact, retail tech and online analytics company Beabloo recently launched Interaction Care to protect physical spaces and avoid the spread of COVID-19. And it’s certified by top-tier companies like Microsoft and Intel.

“We use thermal cameras at entrances to sense if someone has the wrong level of temperature, and we use the same camera to see if they are wearing a mask. Thermal sensing checks people’s temperature in real-time as they enter a physical space. It triggers an audio or visual alert on digital signage when the sensor detects someone with a higher temperature than the predefined threshold,” underlines Portell.

Interaction Care senses physical spaces to identify and protect against high-risk situations. It processes the data collected by the sensors (respecting people’s privacy and without storing any personal data) and implements a system of real-time alerts that guarantee compliance with social distancing measures, temperature control, occupancy limits, and mask usage. This not only protects a space and, therefore, passengers and employees, it can even manage access to ensure safety from the moment people enter the area. It can also detect mask usage and send alerts when people aren’t respecting social distancing measures. Interaction Care technology is also useful in the long term as it provides informative content and occupancy and interaction data.

The solution is already operational at airports, including the Istanbul Grand Airport, which now has over 350 digital signage screens both before and after check-in. These display messages about the airport and use Interaction Care technology to screen messages on COVID-19 safety. Riyadh Airport has both digital signage screens and video walls using Beabloo’s CMS features.

Related article: Will mobile operators provide the key to rebuilding the travel industry?

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