Heathrow Airport has announced that it is to trial technologies and processes which could form the basis of a Common International Standard for health screening at all global airports. The aim of the collective measures being trialled is to reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19 while travelling.
The package of measures that will need to be adopted will consist of tried and tested processes and technology, as well as innovations new to the airport environment. Concepts under review as part of the Heathrow trials include: UV sanitation, which could be used to quickly and efficiently sanitise security trays; facial recognition thermal screening technology to accurately track body temperature; and contact-free security screening equipment to reduce person-to-person contact.
Before any new measures are rolled out across the airport, they will be reviewed against Heathrow’s three tests to ensure that they are medically grounded, build consumer confidence and practical for airports to deliver.
The first of these trials will be a temperature screening technology which uses camera detection systems capable of monitoring the temperatures of people moving through the airport. These passenger-facing trials will first be conducted in the airport’s immigration halls. If successful, the equipment will then be rolled out to departures, connections and colleague search areas. The trials will begin in Terminal 2.
The key learnings from the trials will be shared with the UK Government and other UK airports.
“Aviation is the cornerstone of the UK economy, and to restart the economy, the government needs to help restart aviation,” says John Holland-Kaye, CEO Heathrow Airport. “The UK has the world’s third-largest aviation sector offering the platform for the government to take a lead in agreeing a Common International Standard for aviation health with our main trading partners. This Standard is key to minimising transmission of COVID-19 across borders, and the technology we are trialling at Heathrow could be part of the solution.”
To find out more about Heathrow Airport’s COVID-19 response, read FTE’s recent interview with Amanda Owen, Health and Safety Director, Heathrow, here.The circumstances surrounding COVID-19 are continuously evolving. Our friends at APEX have a dedicated COVID-19 page, which they’ll be updating regularly to help keep you up-to-date on how the novel coronavirus is impacting the aviation industry. Visit the page for the very latest news >>