LAX to Implement Thermal Body Cameras to Screen For Possible COVID-19 Carriers

June 23, 2020 Updated: June 23, 2020

LOS ANGELES (CNS)—Thermal cameras that check passengers’ body temperatures will begin operating June 23 throughout the Tom Bradley International Terminal and arrival areas at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) as another layer of protection to help keep travelers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a voluntary program with signage alerting passengers where the pilot [program] will take place,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “To be clear, these thermal camera temperature checks will not replace other safety measures. We’re not saying that you only can rely on this. This is an additional layer of safety.”

If someone registers a body temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, airport staff will request a secondary screening, and that passenger could be referred to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention staff to be instructed to quarantine.

The Terminal Wellness Pilot Program is slated to begin June 23, Garcetti said, and the cameras are being provided by Carlyle Airport Group at no cost to LAX.

“We know it’s incumbent upon us to make the public comfortable with the idea of traveling once again, to help boost passenger traffic numbers and to rev up the giant economic engine that is Southern California,” said Sean Burton, president of the Los Angeles Airport Commission.

Since the start of the pandemic, airport staffers have installed hundreds of hand sanitizer stations, conducted deep cleanings of the airport, and focused on sanitizing high-touch facilities such as elevators and doors.

Los Angeles World Airports CEO Justin Erbacci said the goal of the pilot program is to determine the best technologies to use for temperature checks at major hub airports, and to create processes and protocols that can be recreated at other terminals in the U.S. and internationally.