WestJet, UBC to launch rapid coronavirus testing pilot at YVR

Oct 2 2020, 9:59 am

A rapid testing pilot for COVID-19 will be launching at Vancouver International Airport.

The pilot project is a joint effort by the Vancouver Airport Authority, WestJet, and the University of British Columbia (UBC), who was recently chosen as the research partner for the study.

The three groups will work together to “pilot real-time COVID-19 testing at the airport,” according to a statement by YVR.

Testing will be conducted on a voluntary basis for passengers on select departing flights. In addition to gathering information around public health and the response to coronavirus, the study also hopes to gain information for long-term solutions surrounding aviation safety and health-screening at airports.

“We are very pleased to have selected a world-leading research institute, located in our own backyard, to partner with us on this critically important work,” says Tamara Vrooman, president & CEO of Vancouver Airport Authority.

“Working together with UBC and WestJet, we aim to make this pilot project the best of both worlds, bringing together industry experts and world-leading researchers — all in an effort to support aviation safety and provide benefits to our region.”

While there’s no set launch date for the study, the organizations say that details such as timing, methodology, and testing technology will be shared in the coming weeks.

Partners will also begin collecting information from members of the public who travel, including their thoughts, perceptions, and willingness to undergo voluntary airport testing.

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