Sea-Tac Airport plans passenger temperature checks

The aviation industry, government agencies, and technology companies are scrambling to find a way to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic so that travelers will be safe in airports and in the sky.

Already, masks, hand sanitizing stations, and hyper-vigilant cleaning protocols have become standard.

And now temperature checks are being added to the list.

Airports, airlines and industry organizations are discussing how to make this happen on a national level.

But the Port of Seattle Commission doesn’t want to wait.

On Wednesday the commission told its staff to work up a plan, by June 9, for rolling out temperature screenings at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

The priority will be on screening arriving international passengers. And with this directive, SEA believes it is the first large U.S. airport to begin working on a formal plan for temperature checks and health screening.

Port of Seattle commissioners acknowledge that with temperature screening will come questions. Mostly about passenger privacy and the fact that temperature checks won’t catch even a majority of virus carriers.

“No single measure is sufficient to slow the spread of coronavirus, and each comes with additional costs and inconvenience. However, given the gravity of the virus, and the impact it has had on our region’s well-being, the benefits of these measures outweigh the costs,” Port of Seattle commissioners said in a statement.

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3 thoughts on “Sea-Tac Airport plans passenger temperature checks

  1. Rich McClear says:

    This seems like a waste of time and money. More “security theater.”

    “Port of Seattle commissioners acknowledge that with temperature screening will come questions. Mostly about passenger privacy and the fact that temperature checks won’t catch even a majority of virus carriers.”

    Frequent cleaning, social distancing, face masks all make sense, but this does not. I hope that the scheme to train sniffer dogs to detect the virus works. That seems more reasonable. I remember temperature scans going into Cuba. People just loaded up on Tylenol before going through the scan. If they had a high temp it didn’t help but if they were anywhere around 100 it did. It was a way of scamming the system. I am in favor of being safe but not for the sake of show, which is what this seems. And the more invasive the more it seems like they are doing something

  2. That will likely be part of the report delivered on June 9 – or before.

  3. Stu says:

    How will the Port deal with individuals who have higher than normal temperatures and are refused the ability to pass through security?

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