Heathrow to launch health screening trials

(Image: HAL)


  • Heathrow to drive forward development of a Common International Standard by trialling technologies and processes that reduce risk of Covid-19 transmission
  • Trials will assess for medical effectiveness, passenger response as well as suitability to the airport environment
  • Technologies under review include UV sanitation, facial recognition thermal screening technology and contactless security procedures
  • Data from trials will be shared with Government and industry to jumpstart the creation of a Common International Standard for health screening

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye has informed the House of Commons Transport Committee today (May 6) that the airport is to trial technologies and processes which could form the basis of a common international standard for health screening at all global airports. He said the aim of the collective measures being trialled is to reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting Covid-19 while travelling.

A Heathrow Airport statement said 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.

It said that 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 the next two weeks in Terminal 2.