Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) has introduced new technology to help blind and low vision passengers.
The airport has launched free access to Aira, an innovative service that helps blind and low vision passengers get instant access to the eyes of a trained professional by using smart glasses that help them “see” their way through the airport.
Aira gives passengers the freedom to roam the airport by themselves, guided by a trained professional agent using augmented reality and artificial intelligence technology. Anyone with a smartphone can use Aira for free while at MKE. Find more information at aira.io.
Aira uses revolutionary technology to connect blind passengers with live, sighted agents who can provide visual descriptions on-demand.
Using the video stream from a smartphone camera (or smart glasses), GPS, websites, and maps, agents provide real-time visual information to help blind or low vision travelers navigate security, use self-check-in kiosks, identify luggage, locate gates, find airport shops and restaurants, and stay updated on flight status – all without the assistance of airport personnel.
Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Executive:
“Today, we’re leveling the playing field for travelers at MKE. From the moment they arrive on airport property, blind and low vision passengers can use Aira for their entire journey through the terminal.
“Milwaukee County promotes independence and equal access for all passengers. It’s yet another way that we are empowering people and strengthening community here in Milwaukee County.”
Brian Dranzik, Airport Director:
“We are proud to be the first airport in Wisconsin or Illinois to offer Aira service to all passengers free of charge. Today’s announcement makes it even easier for blind or low vision passengers to access MKE’s 47 nonstop destinations.
“We invite blind and low vision travelers to choose MKE and enjoy our cost-effective and hassle-free travel experience.”
MKE offers nonstop flights to 47 destinations coast-to-coast, and 160 international destinations are available from Milwaukee with just one connection. MKE is also served by Air Canada, Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, United and Volaris.
N.B. Image credit: Aira