Friday, May 15, 2020

Air Transport Community Gets Ready for a Return to Life After Virus

Technology Advances to Aid Recovery
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Airlines and airports are under some of the most severe financial pressure engendered by the current pandemic and so naturally are at the forefront of trying to find any technology either available, or in development, which will allow them to return to some sort of semblance of normality.

The companies are casting their nets far and wide in an attempt to be prepared for the day that can commence carrying paying customers again. Whether of course things will ever return to what we have all previously regarded as normal is a matter of conjecture.

In Italy local publication Fiumicino Online reports that Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport has fitted 60 thermal scanners, with 30 more on order and is also trialling a batch of three thermal detection helmets. These scan passengers up to 7 metres away and warn if a temperature above 37.5C is detected.

In line with airports all over the world the Fiumicino airport is also rearranging the way passengers will filter through arrivals and departures in order to enable social distancing. Elsewhere however even more advanced systems are being worked on to identify those carrying the disease.

Since 2017 Airbus Industries has been working with a California based outfit, Koniku to investigate the possibility of using biotechnology to effectively identify the presence of certain chemicals and explosives. Now, according to Oshi Agabi (he prefers ‘Osh’) the founder and CEO of Koniku, the company is working on ways to extend the use to pick up signs of viruses such as Covid-19.

He points out the ability of dogs to identify cancers from a person’s breath and says the ‘smell cyborgs’ his company is building have that same ability to detect and identify the presence of organic volatile compounds and small variations in people's breath. His recent comments on the subject can be read here.

Photo: Courtesy of Fiumicino Online.