March 2, 2024

MedAire develops COVID-19 screening

Airlines operating out of London Heathrow and other airports around the world are working with MedAire to develop pre-flight COVID-19 passenger screening services.

The company, which provides medical advisory services to more than 150 airlines worldwide, hopes the measures will help restore confidence in flying.

Passengers and crew will complete a questionnaire for their contact history and undertake tests for symptoms, including their temperature.

CEO Bill Dolny said health screening, like security screening after the 9-11 terror attacks, is likely to become the standard for air travel.

MedAire, part of International SOS, said some airlines are already incorporating various screening procedures to improve passenger and crew safety.

“There is not a standard screening requirement at airports or for airlines, but as more viable screening and testing options become available the global approach for passenger and crew screening will likely evolve,” said a spokeswoman.

The spokeswoman could not disclose which airlines MedAire is working with ‘due to client confidentiality’ but said it has implemented screening programmes at Heathrow, Lima, Hong Kong and Los Angeles to date.

“Screening is what the industry will need to do now to make people feel safe to travel again until a vaccine is available,” said Dr. Paulo Alves, the company’s Global Medical Director Aviation Health.

“The situation is rapidly evolving, and the screening criteria may change as we learn more about the virus and when new testing options become available that can help quickly determine who is safe to travel.”

Earlier this month, Emirates began testing passengers for COVID-19 at Dubai International Airport.

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