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06 May 2020 | 13:59

Heathrow to start Covid-19 detection trials

(Sharecast News) - Heathrow airport is set to kick off trials for technology aimed to screen passengers and workers at airports to detect Covid-19 and prevent its further transmission. Heathrow chief, John Holland-Kaye, informed the House of Commons Transport Committee of the project on Wednesday.

The detection processes will be carried out in the airport and will assess for medical effectiveness, passenger response and sustainability to the airport environment.

Technologies under review include UV sanitation, facial recognition thermal screening technology and contactless security procedures to prevent contact between people.

The results of the trials will be shared with the government and air travel industry to set the basis for the creation of a Common International Standard for health screening.

Holland-Kaye, said: "Aviation is the cornerstone of the UK economy, and to restart the economy, the Government needs to help restart aviation.

"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."

The first of these trials will use camera detection systems capable of monitoring the temperatures of people moving through the airport and will start in the immigration halls of the building. If officials carry them out successfully the equipment will be rolled out to departures, connections and colleague search areas.

Temperature screening were already introduced after the outbreaks of SARS and Ebola.

The trials are set to begin in the next two weeks in Terminal 2 of Heathrow airport.
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