Contract awarded for thermal screening, facial recognition at airports

The state Department of Transportation on Thursday announced that a contract to install thermal temperature screening of arriving passengers and facial recognition technology at Hawaii’s public airports will cost taxpayers $37.5 million throughout 10 years.

The contractor selected is NEC Corp., NEC Corp. of America and their partner, Infrared Cameras Inc., who submitted a proposal of $23.3 million for equipment and installation and a 10-year-maintenance plan of $1.42 million yearly.

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“Taking these steps to implement the technology at our airports shows our commitment to providing preventative measures against COVID-19 for the community,” said Gov. David Ige. “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 to rebuild the economy.”

The thermal temperature screening equipment will be installed immediately at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, Kahului Airport on Maui, Lihue Airport on Kauai, Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole and Hilo International Airport.

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Phase 1 will have the temperature scanners installed this month at the gates currently being used for arriving trans-Pacific flights. Phase 2 will be to install the temperature scanners at the remaining gates in the coming weeks.

The goal of phase 3 is to have the facial imaging equipment installed by Dec. 31.

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