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LAX installs thermal cameras for temperature screenings
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LAX installs thermal cameras for temperature screenings

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a member of the FTE Innovation & Startup Hub, has deployed thermal camera technology that can help identify travellers with an elevated body temperature, as part of a new Terminal Wellness Project in response to the COVID-19 health crisis.

The thermal cameras will be deployed at two locations inside Los Angeles Airport’s 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. The cameras are designed to rapidly identify people with body temperatures of 100.4 degrees F or more, which is the current guideline for detecting a fever set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who unveiled the programme on 22 June, commented: “A world-class airport isn’t defined just by our historic investments in a reimagined LAX and an improved travelling experience – it’s also about world-class safety. This project reflects the best of this city’s innovative spirit, and it will help keep travellers healthy and set a new industry standard.”

The programme is voluntary with signage alerting passengers where this trial will take place. 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 guests 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.

The airport points out that these thermal camera temperature checks will not replace other safety measures in place. To protect guest privacy, the cameras will not store, transmit, or share any data or images taken. Guests who decline to participate will have the opportunity to use a different pathway.

LAWA is launching the programme 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.

The airport will work closely with multiple partners to evaluate the technology including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), airlines, CDC, and L.A. County Department of Public Health, and results from this programme will be shared with these partners and leading airports around the world in an effort to set new standards for the industry.

Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer Designate, LAWA, commented: “Los Angeles World Airports has been rapidly evolving its policies, procedures, technology offerings, and physical spaces to ensure the safety and health of passengers and employees alike. With the incredible help from the Carlyle Airport Group, Schneider Electric, and our other partners, LAX will lead the nation in a comprehensive test of thermal imaging. Our Terminal Wellness Pilot Project is part of our extensive efforts to protect all those travelling through LAX and is another example of how LAWA is setting new standards for the airport industry with best practices, technology and innovation”…

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