(Los Angeles, CA) Mayor Eric Garcetti today joined Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) leadership to launch the Terminal Wellness Project deploying thermal camera technology that can help identify travelers with an elevated body temperature –– the latest measure in the city’s continuing response to the COVID-19 health crisis.
“A world-class airport isn’t defined just by our historic investments in a reimagined LAX and an improved traveling experience –– it’s also about world-class safety,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This project reflects the best of this city’s innovative spirit, and it will help keep travelers healthy and set a new industry standard.
Prior to the pandemic, LAX was the third busiest airport in the world and moved a record 88.1 million travelers in 2019. In April, passenger traffic at LAX was more than 95% below what it was a year earlier.
Starting June 23, thermal cameras will be deployed 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. 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).
This is a voluntary program 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.
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 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.
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 program will be shared with these partners and leading airports around the world in an effort to set new standards for the industry.
“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,” said Justin Erbacci, LAWA’s Chief Executive Officer Designate. “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 traveling through LAX and is another example of how LAWA is setting new standards for the airport industry with best practices, technology and innovation.”
“Bold thinking and innovative solutions are needed as we recover from the greatest reduction in passenger traffic in the history of aviation and transition into a new normal for air travel,” said Sean Burton, President, Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners. “LAX is an industry leader when it comes to the deployment of new technology to improve the travel journey, and our Terminal Wellness Pilot Project is an example of a collaborative, innovative and substantive solution for a safe, clean and healthy airport environment.”
Under Mayor Garcetti’s leadership, LAX has taken aggressive action to protect travelers and residents from COVID-19. The airport added signage directing guests 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. LAWA is continually working with partners, shops, and restaurants to deliver a seamless, contact-free experience.