Birmingham Airport starts piloting thermal camera technology


A three-week trial of thermal camera technology has begun at Birmingham International Airport.

The trial is a joint initiative between Swissport Western Europe and smart infrastructure solutions company Costain.

It uses a thermal camera, which is positioned at the boarding gate to pinpoint the temperature of passengers as they pass through.

The technology alerts the member of staff watching the monitor to anyone with an elevated temperature, a key indicator for Covid-19.

The thermal cameras can monitor multiple individuals at any one time up to five metres away.

This means the temperature checks can be done as people move through an airport at established points so there should be no additional queuing as a result of the trials.


While not everyone with Covid-19 has a temperature and not everyone with a temperature has Covid-19, thermal imaging acts as a filter to reduce transmission and will be one way to restore passenger confidence.

It has been recommended by the International Air Transport Association as part of a layered biosecurity approach for re-starting passenger flights amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Andy Clarke, aviation director at Costain, said: “There is huge potential for thermal imaging technology to be integrated into airline and airport systems over time.”

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