Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is now offering rapid COVID-19 tests that are processed in a state-of-the-art laboratory located at the airport. LAX management hopes that its new open-air testing facility will provide passengers a convenient and safe option for taking a PCR test before or after travel.
“As more destinations around the world integrate COVID-19 testing requirements for arriving passengers, and as passengers are choosing to take steps to monitor their health when flying, providing easy access to rapid testing is another way LAX can help bolster safe travel,” said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), in a press release seen by Simple Flying.
“In our continuous quest to innovate and reimagine the airport experience, we partnered with the private sector to design, construct and open a first-of-its-kind on-site laboratory that will provide an accessible and affordable rapid testing solution.”
Walk up tests are available
With a scheduled appointment for a nasal swab Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, passengers can get their results in a matter of hours. PCR tests collected at the laboratory across from Terminal 6 will be processed in three to five hours, while those collected at Terminal 2 and Tom Bradley locations will take up to 24 hours.
While some walk-up appointments may be available based on demand, LAX recommends passengers make an appointment to be tested at the terminal of their choice. Having an on-site laboratory is an evolution of LAX’s earlier testing program and significantly cuts down the waiting time for results.
Clarity Lab Solutions provide the test
To provide the testing, LAX has partnered with Boca Raton-headquartered Clarity Lab Solutions, a leading nationwide laboratory for COVID-19 testing. Grimshaw Architects and container-based structure fabricator SG Blocks designed LAX’s testing area, located on the Lower/Arrivals Level across from Terminal 6. Shade covering and social distancing markers are provided to ensure physical separation during queuing.
LAX says that passengers will receive their results electronically and that LAX does not see the test results or any passenger’s personal information.
Hawaii recognizes the test
LAX says that the State of Hawaii recognizes the laboratory and that the tests meet Hawaii’s current COVID-19 travel requirements. LAX says that it also plans to offer rapid antigen tests starting sometime this month. While PCR tests are engineered to seek genetic ribonucleic acid (RNA), antigen tests look for proteins to ascertain the virus’s presence.
The main testing lab and collection point is located across from Terminal 6 on the Lower/Arrivals level and is the only testing point that offers results back between three and five hours. Passengers can also purchase the PCR tests at the Tom Bradley International Terminal on the Upper/Departures level and the Lower/Arrivals Level baggage claim area of Terminal 2. Tests dropped off at these two locations take 24 hours to process.
At the laboratory location across from Terminal 6, the test site is open from 08:00 until 18:00; at the other two testing sites at Terminal 2 and the Tom Bradley Terminal, the hours are 08:00 until 19:00.
Having an appointment to be tested is highly recommended by LAX and can be arranged online by clicking on the link.
The standard cost for a PCR test is $125. LAX recommends that customers keep a receipt of their purchase if the test’s cost is covered under a health plan.
Altogether, this move will help in the bid to keep travel open despite the tough conditions. Perhaps we will see more airports adopting this approach this year.
If you have used the COVID-19 testing at LAX, please tell us what you thought of it in the comments.