AIRA arrives at MSP, helps the vision-impaired

Jan 18, 2018

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) recently joined the Aira Airport Network, which is the world’s fastest-growing assistive technology service for people who are blind or low vision.

Aira customers who travel through MSP can now access on-demand assistance from a remote Aira agent, free of charge, while at the airport.

By joining the Aira airport network, MSP provides complimentary service to Aira subscribers while on site, allowing blind and low vision customers to access the service without using minutes from their existing plan, and with no additional cost to them.

“We couldn’t be more excited to add MSP to the Aira Airport Network,” said Kevin Phelan, Vice President at Aira. “Through partnerships like these, we can expand access for people who are blind and low vision, enhance the travel experience, and work toward the goal of completely accessible cities.”

“By joining the Aira Airport Network, we are working to ensure that travelers who are blind or low vision are able to take full advantage of all MSP has to offer,” said Brian Ryks, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates MSP. “We continue to work closely with businesses and organizations serving people with disabilities to ensure all of our customers have a great experience at MSP.”

Aira empowers the blind and visually impaired community to engage, explore and experience the world around them by providing real-time visual assistance when and where it is needed. Using a pair of camera-enabled smart glasses and a mobile app, Aira subscribers connect with remote, sighted assistants, who can provide visual descriptions of their surroundings and convey useful information about the environment. At the airport, travelers can use Aira to help navigate security lines, get updates on gate changes or flight delays, or identify bags at baggage claim.

“Over the past few months, the Aira technology has been a great addition to the tools I use during my frequent travels into and out of MSP airport,” said Jennifer Dunnam, a leader in the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota and a resident of Saint Louis Park. “I can get more information about what’s around me as I head to my gate, including restaurants or shops in the airport that I may not have known about.”

The partnership represents a major step toward MSP’s goal of becoming one of the most accessible airports in the world. A major addition to the Aira Airport Network, MSP is one the busiest airports in the country, serving more than 37 million travelers on 400,000 flights per year.

About Aira

Aira is AI + AR for the blind. Aira combines the power of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality with wearable technologies, plus the interaction of its network of trained remote human assistants, to provide the 300 million blind and low vision people around the globe immediate access to information and assistance.