heathrow airport

Airport CEO Believes Health Tests for Passengers Will Become More Common

Airlines may require passengers to take temperature tests or other measurements of health before they can board, according to the CEO of London's Heathrow Airport.

An airport CEO in England revealed to local media outlets that infrared cameras currently being used to spot passengers who are potentially sick could become a new normal at the facilities.

London’s Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye, said several travel hubs around the world have already mandated the use of technology to take the temperatures of travelers passing through their facilities, The Sun reported

Holland-Kaye said that once the coronavirus outbreak is under control and travel restrictions are lifted, airports may continue to use the technology to “provide reassurance and confidence in flying” for passengers.

“I can completely understand why passengers would wonder why they saw cameras at the airport where they got on the plane but didn’t see them when they arrived,” Holland-Kaye said.

A call for global collaboration on health testing has been called for when the aviation industry returns to full service, but admitted the infrared cameras might not be effective in diagnosing patients with coronavirus, It can take up to two weeks before they show symptoms.

Holland-Kaye also called on the industry to agree on new health testing regulations, including the implementation of further thermal cameras, which he compared to the bans put on liquids in 2006.

“That was a big change in the way people travel. It helped keep people safe,” Holland-Kaye said.

Etihad Airways announced on Monday they have agreed to a new partnership with Australia-based Elenium Automation to trial new self-service devices at airports used to identify travelers with medical conditions.

The airline said that the new technology, which can monitor the temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate of anyone using an airport touchpoint like a check-in kiosk, bag drop facility or a security gate, could potentially spot the early stages of coronavirus.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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