Los Angeles International Airport is trialling thermal cameras that can help identify passengers with high body temperatures – a common symptom of COVID-19.
The cameras are designed to rapidly identify people with body temperatures of 100.4 degrees or more, which is the current guideline for detecting a fever set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The thermal cameras can check the temperatures of several people at the same time, even while they are moving.
Screening is at two locations inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal –– at the main entrance on the departures level and inside the terminal near select international arrivals –– with both arriving and departing passengers screened.
It is voluntary and passengers can use different entrances to avoid the cameras.
If a voluntary participant is identified as having an elevated body temperature, a medical professional near the camera operator will approach the identified person and request a secondary screening using a handheld, non-contact thermometer.
Departing passengers who are identified as having an elevated body temperature will be advised that they should not travel. Passengers on arriving international flights identified as being potentially ill may be referred to CDC staff on site.
Before the pandemic, LAX was the third busiest airport in the world and moved a record 88.1 million passengers in 2019. In April, passenger traffic at LAX was more than 95% below what it was a year earlier.
PAX is launching the program in partnership with the Carlyle Airport Group through Schneider Electric, which will provide three types of cameras to help determine which is most accurate and effective at detecting potentially ill people. Faith Group will provide an evaluation of the technology and signage. The equipment being tested is on loan at no cost.
LAX has taken other action to protect passengers and residents from COVID-19.
The airport has added signs directing passengers to practice social distancing, wear a face covering at all times, and wash their hands frequently. LAX has increased deep cleaning throughout the airport focusing on “high touch” areas, and has installed more than 250 hand sanitizer stations.
N.B. Image credit: Los Angeles World Airports