LAWA photo by Heath Montgomery

LAX Introduces Thermal Cameras to Check Passenger Temperatures

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has launched its Terminal Wellness Project deploying thermal camera technology that can help identify travelers with an elevated body temperature.

From June 23, thermal cameras are being deployed at two locations inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) –– 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.  

LAX has already added signage directing guests to practice social distancing, wear a face covering at all times, and wash their hands frequently. In addition, the airport has increased deep cleaning throughout focusing on “high touch” areas, and has installed more than 250 hand sanitizer stations. 

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.

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