HONOLULU (KHON2) – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) has selected NEC Corporation and their partner Infrared Cameras Inc. to provide thermal temperature screening and facial imaging technology at Hawaii’s public airports.

The technology will help to identify passengers that have a potentially elevated body temperature.

“We recognize that temperature screening won’t catch every infected passenger, but it is an available tool that can be implemented and combined with the additional measures the State is providing to help prevent the spread of this virus, while helping rebuild the economy,” said Hawaii Governor David Ige.

NEC and Infrared Cameras were selected with a proposal of $23.3 million for equipment and installation, and a 10-year maintenance plan of $1.42 million annually, for a total contract amount of $37.5 million.

The companies were selected because of their innovative concept and ability to deliver accurate and efficient thermal temperature screening for people traveling to Hawaii.

The selection committee evaluated four systems and technologies, and NEC and Infrared Cameras were determined to be the best fit for Hawaii’s needs.

The thermal temperature screening equipment will be installed immediately at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Kahului Airport (OGG), Lihue Airport (LIH), Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA) and Hilo International Airport (ITO).

  • Phase 1 will have the temperature scanners installed this month at the gates currently being used for arriving trans-Pacific flights.
  • Phase 2 will have the temperature scanners installed at the remaining gates in the coming weeks.
  • Phase 3 expects to have the facial imaging equipment installed by December 31, 2020.

The facial imaging system incorporates privacy protections and NEC will work with HDOT throughout this process to ensure their equipment meets the States requirements.

The system will temporarily save a picture of a person only if they have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher

The pictures will be used to help airport staff identify the traveler so they can conduct additional health assessments, if necessary.

Pictures will also be deleted within 30 minutes, and won’t be shared with outside agencies.

Travelers that are below the 100.4 degree threshold will not have their image saved at all. Personal information such as names, addresses, driver’s license numbers and criminal history will not be available to the system.

The photograph illustrates an example of the technology to be used at Hawaii’s airports to help identify people with an elevated temperature of 100.4 degrees or above.

The use of the thermal image capture technology is anticipated to be safer and more cost effective than manual temperature checks.

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