Research Projects

Review and assessment of airport communicable disease screening technologies and innovations In Reserve

Medical technology companies are rolling out robots and drones to help fight it and provide services and care to those quarantined or practicing social distancing. The COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked the "testing" of robots and other technologies as officials seek out the most expedient and safe way to grapple with the outbreak and limit contamination and spread of the virus.

The aviation industry needs to assess and evaluate the use of automation and robotics to meet the increased demand for enhanced cleaning and sanitation to mitigate the impacts of communicable diseases and make the aviation system safer for passengers and employees.

Moving toward a touchless travel experience; using biometric identity verification at check-in, bag drop locations and at security checkpoints; and using digital identification and payment methods all require an assessment and evaluation stage of the most promising technologies focused on airport issues and requirements.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

Testimony on May 6, 2020 to the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation identified the need for airports, airlines, and their federal partners to plan for long-term enhancements to the protect passengers and aviation industry workers from communicable diseases.

The testimony on May 6, 2020 noted that one international transportation consulting firm estimates that domestic passenger levels in the United States could decline between 63 and 69 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, and international traffic is expected to suffer even more with an expected drop of anywhere between 71 and 83 percent.

Airports, airlines, other stakeholders need to work closely together to protect the health and safety of passengers and aviation employees. The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally change the aviation industry and airports need to take significant steps to respond to the crisis related to enhanced screening, cleaning and sanitation.

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

The objective of this research is a rapid assessment and evaluation of the current state of art of automation and robotics to meet the increased demand for enhanced cleaning and sanitation of airport facilities and passengers to mitigate the impacts of communicable diseases and make the aviation system safer for passengers and employees.

Approach (Describe in general terms the steps you think are needed to achieve the objective.)

Form committee of experts on the topic of automation and robotics technologies related to enhanced cleaning and sanitation of airport facilities and passengers to mitigate the impacts of communicable diseases.

Evaluate automation and robotics technologies related to enhanced cleaning and sanitation of airport facilities and passengers to mitigate the impacts of communicable diseases.

Determine industry best practices, findings on current automation and technology innovations for enhanced screening and sanitation, suggest recommended practices and areas for promising practice and research.

Cost Estimate and Backup (Provide a cost estimate and support for how you arrived at the estimate.)

$400,000 and 12 months

Related Research - List related ACRP and other industry research; describe gaps (see link to Research Roadmaps above), and describe how your idea would address these gaps. This is a critical element of a synthesis topic submission.

GAO. 2015. Air Travel and Communicable Diseases: Comprehensive Federal Plan Needed for U.S. Aviation Preparedness. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Accountability Office. https://www.gao.gov/assets/680/674224.pdf.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2017. Preparing Airports for Communicable Diseases on Arriving Flights. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/24880.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Roles in Reducing Transmission of Communicable Diseases. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25367.

Nicolaides, C., Avraam, D., Cueto‐Felgueroso, L., González, M.C. and Juanes, R. 2020, Hand‐Hygiene Mitigation Strategies Against Global Disease Spreading through the Air Transportation Network. Risk Analysis. doi:10.1111/risa.13438

Vonnahme, L. A., M. R. Jungerman, R. K. Gulati, P. Illig, and F. Alvarado-Ramy. 2017. U.S. Federal Travel Restrictions for Persons with Higher-Risk Exposures to Communicable Diseases of Public Health Concern. Emerging Infectious Diseases, Volume 23(13). https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/13/17-0386_article.

WHO. 2005. Strengthening Health Security by Implementing the International Health Regulations: About IHR. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/ihr/about/en/.

WHO. 2009. Guide to Hygiene and Sanitation in Aviation: Module 1: Water, Module 2: Cleaning and Disinfection of Facilities. Geneva: World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/ihr/ports_airports/guide_hygiene_sanitation_aviation_3_edition_wcov.pdf.

Annotations
Idea No. 492