Los Angeles International Airport will begin piloting a thermal scan of passengers on Tuesday, a test aimed at identifying febrile passengers, a symptom of Covid-19, said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday.
According to the representative of the airport, the trial will be voluntary and will last at least two months. According to Garcetti, the scanners will be located in the terminal of Tom Bradley, which performs a large number of international flights in the departure and arrival areas.
Departing passengers will inform staff that they should not travel if they record temperatures above 100.4 degrees. Arriving travelers will be referred to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if they register such high temperatures.
“To be clear, these temperature checks of the camera will not replace other security measures,” Garcetti said in a webcast. “This is an extra layer of security.”
The aviation industry is struggling with the devastating impact of Covid-19 on air travel, which has pushed airlines to their first losses in recent years. While air travel recovered after more than the fifty-year low reached in April, when the states were reopened and the summer travel season began, demand is still dropping by about 80% compared to last year, according to the Transportation Safety Administration.
Airlines have struggled to find ways to alleviate travelers’ concerns about the virus and protect crews. While federal officials recommended masking faces in places where it is impossible to distance oneself, this is not a requirement of the government. Carriers began serving masks for passengers last month.
They took other steps. For example, the low-cost airline Frontier Airlines this month began to measure the temperature of travelers and stated that if they register more than 100.4 and higher, they will not fly. United Airlines, for its part, this month began asking passengers questions about their health when they check in for their flights.
According to the International Council of Airports, more than 88 million passengers passed through LAX last year, making it the third busiest airport in the world after Atlanta and Beijing.