The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) in the US has unveiled plans to establish Covid-19 testing sites at O’Hare and Midway International Airports.
The department has issued a request for proposal (RFP) in a step to appoint a vendor for managing the two testing centres.
The testing services will be available for passengers, as well as for airport employees.
CDA Commissioner Jamie L Rhee said: “Our goal is to have the most robust and comprehensive testing programme of any airport system possible to facilitate travel, both domestic and international, and to provide some peace of mind.
“The pandemic has been incredibly disruptive for air travel, and we’re constantly working with our airport partners and airlines on ways to make air travel as safe as possible.”
The department will accept applications until 30 November, when the winner will be announced.
The successful vendor will offer two kinds of tests: polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, and rapid point-of-care tests, as well as manage both the sites. The testing centres are expected to commence operations before the December holiday travel season begins.
The move comes as several international destinations require passengers to provide a negative PCR test result before boarding their flight.
PCR results will be available in 72 hours while rapid point-of-care test results will be delivered within 20 minutes.
The step comes a week after CLEAR, a biometric data company, deployed its touchless security screening technology at Midway International Airport.
The US is one of the worst-affected countries by the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of total cases and fatalities.
More than 12 million people in the country have been infected by the disease, as of 23 November. The number of fatalities crossed 256,000.