Orlando International airport rolls out new tech to encourage social distancing

Pilot program uses heat mapping to notify people of crowd density

ORLANDO, Fla. – As passengers are returning to air travel and cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, Orlando International Airport is announcing new technology designed to encourage social distancing in high-traffic areas.

On Nov. 20, the airport collaborated with SYNECT to install an Evenflow Crowd Radar system at Southwest Airlines gates 101-109.

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The pilot program is a first for any airport in the world and uses heat mapping to notify passengers about where there is increased crowd density.

“This new system will hopefully help passengers make informed decisions and reduce the anxiety that accompanies travel during these challenging times,” Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO Phil Brown said.

At each gate is a color-coded message beacon which displays light-green, dark-green, yellow or red to reflect the amount of people in one area.

“Evenflow Crowd Radar uses behavioral science to make the airport safer for passengers, employees and the public,” CEO of SYNECT Yahav Ran said. “We’re proud to be working with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and a team of leading scientists to demonstrate how visual communication drives compliance and promotes healthier passenger behavior.”

Officials said after a period of seven months, the pilot program will be analyzed and a decision will be made whether the technology will be deployed throughout the airport.

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.