Bishop airport police get Smart Helmets to screen for coronavirus, scan other info

Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 11:51 AM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Police at Bishop International Airport have a new tool to check passengers’ temperatures, run them through facial recognition software, check license plates and more from afar.

The airport is the first -- and one of the only businesses in the United States -- to deploy the Smart Helmet by Italy-based KeyBiz. Bishop airport Director Nino Sapone said the helmets will be used primarily to screen passengers for a fever, which is a key symptom of coronavirus.

“The helmet is the first mobile platform of its kind, allowing our police officers the flexibility to walk the terminal building and randomly screen both incoming and outgoing passengers,” he said.

The Smart Helmets already are in use at airports around the world, including Rome.

Temperature screenings can be conducted up to 21 feet away from passengers and other guests in the terminal building. Passengers with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will be escorted to an airline ticket counter and employees there will decide whether the passenger can board an aircraft.

Anyone who isn’t a passenger who registers a temperature above 100.4 degrees will be asked to leave the terminal building after police conduct some limited coronavirus contact tracing to find out what areas of the building may have been exposed.

The facial recognition, license plate reading and QR Code detection capabilities with the helmets will be rolled out later. Officials will be able to upload photos of criminal suspects and license plates into the helmets, which can scan passengers and vehicles for them.

More features and additional technology can be added to the helmets in the future.

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