The Airports Division of the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) has announced that it has started to use thermal temperature screening equipment at its public airports.

Last month, HDOT selected Japanese technology firm NEC and its partner Infrared Cameras to provide facial recognition and thermal temperature screening technology.

This technology is expected to safeguard the community by identifying passengers who may have a higher body temperature of 100.4 ⁰F and above.

The companies have finished the first phase of the project, which entailed the installation of the temperature scanners at the gates that serve the arriving transpacific flights.

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) have each been equipped with the technology.

The Hawaii National Guard members and HDOT employees have received training for the operation and monitoring of the equipment.

The monitor will provide an alert if any passenger has an increased body temperature, following which the officials will further evaluate the passenger.

Under Phase 2 of the project, the technology will be installed at the remaining gates by 20 August. In Phase 3, facial recognition equipment will be installed by 31 December.

Hawaii Governor David Ige said: “The thermal screening equipment is a positive feature that streamlines the process for people travelling to Hawaii while also working to keep the community safe by detecting people with a fever.

“The equipment is a step in the direction of what will be the new normal as we move forward in the Covid-19 era.”