Published on : Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Hamad International Airport (HIA), has implemented the latest technologies to optimize passenger and employee safety in preparation for post-COVID-19 travel. The airport will be using robotics and advanced thermal screening helmets as part of the measures being introduced for the Post-COVID-19 era.
Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at Hamad International Airport said: “HIA has adapted to the changes brought on by the spread of COVID-19 on the world, especially on the travel sector. Recovery plans have been put in place with priority given to the safety and comfort of travelers and employees. These plans include the use of the latest advanced technology to achieve the highest safety standards for the future travel experience.
Using the latest technology and tools, HIA will continue to conduct thermal screening and disinfection procedures for all staff and passengers. Travellers at HIA will be screened using thermal and temperature screening. The Smart Screening Helmet is a wearable intelligent helmet, which is portable, safe and effective, and enables contactless temperature measurement. This helmet uses multiple advanced technologies such as infrared thermal imaging, artificial intelligence and AR (augmented reality) display. It can also enable implementation of mobile deployment-based control scenarios.
HIA has also invested in disinfectant robots, which are fully autonomous mobile devices emitting concentrated UV-C light, which are known to be effective in eliminating majority of infectious microorganisms. The robots are being deployed in vulnerable high passenger flow areas to reduce the spread of pathogens.
All passengers will be provided with hand sanitisers readily available at key locations. The airport will continue to maintain 1.5m social distancing across all passenger touch points around the airport, through floor markings, signage and distance seating. All HIA retail and food and beverage outlets will encourage cashless transactions through cards and is considering introducing online or in-app purchases in the future.
Furthermore, HIA has invested in ultraviolet disinfection tunnels that will be used to disinfect all checked-in passenger luggage (departing, arriving and transferring). The airport will also conduct regular disinfection of all baggage trolleys, and tubs.
The five-star airport is keen on the safety of its employees by emphasizing the use of masks and gloves and using a face mask detection system which utilises artificial intelligence and computer vision technologies to automatically detect if everyone is wearing masks. The airport will continue cleaning and disinfecting all high contact areas every 10-15 minutes, while making sure everyone has access to hand sanitizers.
HIA has always been at the forefront of technological transformation at airports, with an aim to enhance passenger experience and improve operational excellence. HIA’s smart airport vision places passengers at the heart of its strategy. The airport has been investing in cutting edge technologies, automation and self-service, to provide a safe and smooth experience for passengers fuelled with choice and flexibility.
HIA has recently been ranked the “Third Best Airport in the World”, among 550 airports worldwide, by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020. Rising from fourth position in 2019 to third in 2020, HIA has been steadily rising in the ‘World’s Best Airports’ rankings since the start of its operations in 2014. While maintaining its five-star airport classification since 2017, HIA has also been voted the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the sixth year in a row and ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for the fifth year in a row.