"Nobody wants to be sitting next to somebody who has a 104 degree temperature"

Everett's Paine Field now screens airline passengers with this thermal camera device before boarding to check them for fever to prevent COVID-19 infection spread during flights. (photo: KOMO News)

Everett's Paine Field is now screening passengers for fever before they can board a plane in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 infection.

During the screening process, airline passengers will stand before a no-contact thermal camera which quickly displays their body temperature. If your temperature is above 100.5 degrees, TSA screeners pull you aside for extra evaluation. If your body temperature is in the normal range, you proceed to boarding the plane.

According to KOMO News, the elevated body detection system uses a thermal camera designed to screen all passengers for fever just prior to entering the TSA checkpoint.

If any passengers are flagged as having a high body temperature of at least 100.5 degrees, they will be offered a secondary screening at another checkpoint.

Brett Smith, CEO of Propeller Airports which operates the passenger terminal at Paine Field, says, “Nobody wants to be sitting next to somebody who has a 104 degree temperature, and I certainly want to keep our passengers as safe as possible.”

The system, developed by Athena Security, is non-invasive and non-contact, officials said, and similar to systems used in airports in Asia and other parts of the world.

Smith said it’s accurate up to 0.3-degrees Celsius.

“I think airports all around the states are going to have to rethink how they do things,” said Smith, who said he believes Paine Field is the first airport in the country to install the cameras.

Smith said the system does not store any facial information or a passenger’s name. And passengers can opt out of the screening, though in that case Smith said the passenger’s airline would be notified.

So far, SeaTac International Airport says they have no plans to deploy thermal camera passenger temperature readings.

Offbeat News