The UK’s busiest airport has begun trialling thermal imaging technology in a bid to develop a common international standard for health screening, which it says is needed to unlock global trade and travel.
Starting from today, Heathrow is testing the cameras in Terminal 2’s immigration hall to detect elevated temperatures of arriving passengers.
If successful, the equipment may be rolled out across the airport into departures, connections and staff search areas to further stress test its capabilities. The temperature screening forms part of a wider set of processes and technology set to be trialled at the London hub.
Heathrow will also explore the use of UV sanitisation to efficiently disinfect security trays and contact-free security screening equipment to reduce person-to-person contact. Observations from the trials will be shared with the UK government as Heathrow’s CEO urges the need for a common international standard for health screening across all international airports.
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow CEO, commented: “To unlock the full benefits of aviation for the economy, a common international standard for health screening must be agreed by the global authorities - and the technology we are trialling now could be a part of this solution.”
Meanwhile, from this week, all operational employees will be wearing face coverings and will be handing out masks to any arriving and departing passengers who do not have their own. This is in addition to the more than 600 hand sanitiser stations, enhanced cleaning regimes, prominent signage featuring government health advice and Perspex barriers for frontline contact points and social distancing reminders.