LAX tests thermal cameras for detecting fevers in travelers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles International Airport is testing thermal camera technology designed to identify travelers with elevated body temperatures.

The technology deployed Tuesday at the Tom Bradley International Terminal is the airport’s latest response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Airport officials say the cameras should quickly detect people with temperatures of 100.4 degrees or higher, which is the standard for fever detection set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials say participation in the test program is voluntary. Signs alert passengers to the cameras placed at the terminal’s main entrance on the departure level and inside the terminal near an international arrivals area.

If the system detects someone has an elevated temperature, a medical professional will approach and request a secondary screening using a handheld, non-contact thermometer.

If the passenger is departing, they will be advised they should not travel. An arriving passenger may be referred to CDC staff on site.

Passengers who don’t wish to participate will be shown an alternate pathway.

The airport requires face coverings and has signage encouraging physical distancing and frequent handwashing. More than 250 hand sanitizer stations have been installed.

Officials say LAX moved a record 88.1 million travelers in 2019, and as of April passenger traffic was more than 95% below the year-earlier period.