Delta tests temperature screening at LAX with pilot project

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Infrared camera skin temperature detection system in use. - Infrared Cameras Inc./Los Angeles Times/TNS

Delta Air Lines is testing a system for screening passengers’ temperatures at Los Angeles International Airport, an extension of a pilot project the airport is doing at its international terminal.

Atlanta-based Delta said the pilot project using thermal imaging cameras started Tuesday at LAX for passengers flying out of Terminal 2 and is set to run for three weeks. The airline said it has no plans to deploy temperature screening in Atlanta or additional airports.

Delta said its passengers who have a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will not be allowed to board. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers that to be the measured temperature for a fever.

Delta’s contract of carriage has long said that it may refuse to transport passengers for a number of reasons. That includes when a passenger “has a contagious disease that may be transmissible to other passengers during the normal course of the flight” or a passenger “is seriously ill, unless the passenger provides a physician’s written permission to fly.”

Los Angeles International Airport has been testing thermal cameras inside its Tom Bradley International Terminal since late June. Those identified by cameras as having elevated body temperatures are approached for a secondary screening with a handheld non-contact thermometer, and those who still have elevated body temperatures will be advised that they should not travel.

Los Angeles World Airports said it would share results from its pilot program with the Transportation Security Administration, airlines, CDC, the L.A. County Department of Health and other airports around the world “in an effort to set new standards for the industry.”

The LAX pilot project follows Frontier Airlines’ announcement that it would start temperature screenings of all passengers and employees in June, and that anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher would be denied boarding. Travelers to some countries, including South Korea, are also subject to a temperature check.

Industry group Airlines for America has pushed for the Transportation Security Administration to begin checking temperatures at airports. Delta and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport are taking temperatures of employees.

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©2020 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)