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.
According to The Sun, the CEO of Heathrow Airport in London, 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.
Holland-Kaye said that once the coronavirus-outbreak.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>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.
“Public Health England has obviously looked at this and decided that it’s not appropriate for testing,” Holland-Kaye said. “But 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 went on to call for global collaboration on health testing once the aviation industry returns to full service, but admitted the infrared cameras might not be effective in diagnosing patients with coronavirus, as it can take up to two weeks before they show symptoms.
The Heathrow CEO 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,” Holland-Kaye continued. “It helped keep people safe.”
In a similar move Monday, Etihad Airways announced 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.
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