Salt Lake airport utilizes app to help visually impaired passengers

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – There is a new tool being used at the Salt Lake International Airport that is helping blind, and visually impaired through their travels, and just in time for the holidays. 

Tens of thousands of travelers will head through the airport security every day starting Friday. To help travelers who are visually impaired, the airport has introduced a free app called Aira, Artificial Intelligence Remote Assistant. 

The app was designed to help blind travelers navigate the airport with ease. “It’s a free phone app that connects blind and low vision passengers to highly trained real people who interpret the passenger’s surroundings through a cellphone camera, or through the use of special glasses,”  says Nancy Volmer, Director of Communications and Marketing for Salt Lake International Airport.  

The agent on the other side can see what the visually impaired person is experiencing in real-time. 

Aira’s mission statement: 

“Aira is on a mission to provide instant access to information to anyone, no matter where they are in life’s journey. Whether an Explorer is learning, job seeking, working, parenting, or just living their life, Aira is there.” 

Volmer says the airport decided to utilize this app “to make sure the facility is accessible to all.” 

She says the airport purchases a block of Aira minutes each month and block out the area of the airport for those minutes to be used by passengers. Volmer says since the app has been implemented earlier this year, there has been an average of 112 minutes of usage time per month.

To learn more about Aira click here.

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