At LAX: Hot or not?

Thermal scanning of passengers is common at many airports in Asia.

If the new Terminal Wellness Pilot Program rolling out at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on June 23 works out, then thermal scanning could become the new normal in U.S. airports too.

The new pilot program uses thermal camera technology to identify travelers who have elevated body temperatures.

The heat-seeking cameras are set up inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at both the main entrance on the departures level and inside the terminal near some international arrivals.

For the pilot program, the cameras will be screening both arriving and departing passengers who voluntarily agree to be screened. And LAX officials say passengers who don’t want to be screened will be able to decline the scan.

The thermal cameras will be identifying people with body temperatures of 100.4 degrees or more. A fever could be mean that a traveler has COVID-19.

Passengers flagged with an elevated temperature will go through secondary screening that includes having a medical professional do a temperature check with a handheld, non-contact thermometer.

LAX says departing passengers with elevated body temperature will be advised not to travel. Passengers on arriving international flights who may be ill could be referred to CDC staff on site.

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