Thermal imaging scanners check your temperature at Burlington airport

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 8:41 AM EDT
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More travelers are landing in Vermont as tourism season in the Green Mountain State tries to take off, and the Burlington International Airport now has three different types of temperature scanners waiting for the new arrivals.

"Quite excited that it picks up people. It can pick up crowds and it can pick up people in a crowd," said Gene Richards, the airport's director of aviation.

Richards has made flying a bit more colorful at the airport, integrating a new safety measure for travelers.

"We've installed some thermal imaging to help indicate folks coming into the airport on their temperatures. We really think it's an indicator. It doesn't mean you have it or you don't have it, but we believe it helps. So, by installing it, it helps people self regulate and it gives them an indicator that they may want to check on something," said Richards.

During the peak of the pandemic, the number of travelers going through the Burlington airport fell to just 800 a week. That number has since grown to 4,000 a week and continues to climb, so Richards says being on top of safety technology is a top priority.

"Even this is a little edgier than many airports have, but some -- I know LAX has them now -- and Burlington does and I think it's just very important," said Richards.

Lori Chandler was visiting from Los Angeles and says the extra safety is an extra comfort.

"I think it's pretty cool. I think it shows the airport cares about their passengers and they are making efforts to keep people safe," she said.

And as someone who caught COVID-19 back in March, Chandler says that stopping the spread is a community effort and is glad the airport is doing their part.

"Anything we can do to help out each other and make this as painless as it can be because it's already so stressful. I think if there is any part we can do to help everybody else and keep everybody else safe we should definitely do that," she said.

Richards says there is no facial recognition technology being used with the temperature gauges. Money for the new technology came from last year's airport budget.