Hamad International Airport (HIA) has commenced
the testing phase of its program to transform itself into a ‘smart
airport’ by integrating best of breed technologies that will offer
passengers more control and independence over their journey.
From check-in to boarding, every step of the
journey will be self-service enabled to significantly improve
efficiency and reduce waiting times. Combined with the airport’s
complimentary Wi-Fi and the iBeacon enabled mobile app that offers
way-finding and context relevant information, HIA’s passengers
will be able to enjoy a more enjoyable travel experience.
Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating
Officer at HIA, said, “HIA continuously and proactively focuses on
its people, processes, technology and partnerships with key
stakeholders to provide world class service, as recognized by the
industry. The fatest passenger processing and security
technologies are either already deployed or being trialled to
maintain and boost our position as one of the best airports in the
HIA became one of the first airports to support
Home Printed Bag Tags (HPBT) and already provides self-service
check-in. It will soon be introducing its next generation
common-use self-service check-in and self-service bag drop
services which will enable passengers to check-in themselves,
print their boarding pass and baggage tags, tag their bags and
simply drop them off at the custom designed bag-drop system.
Those services will be continuously
enhanced to offer travellers more options such as excess baggage
payment, ability to purchase upgrades and access to lounge
services, in partnership with airlines.
HIA currently has 63 automated border control
e-gates that allow enrolled nationals and permanent residents to
swiftly pass through departure and arrival immigration process
based on biometric and travel document verification. The airport
is actively working with the responsible government authorities to
extend these benefits to visitors to Qatar.
The airport also has ongoing trials to optimize
the security checks by speeding up the process and minimizing
inconvenience to the passengers.
HIA has even successfully completed trials for
self-boarding gates to expedite passenger processing at boarding
Strategically, HIA has initiated dialogue with
government authorities and other airport stakeholders to co-create
a vision for the next-generation single-token based travel at the
airport that would provide the ultimate experience by eliminating
the need for the passengers to present the same documentation at
multiple touch points.
“These technological advancements at key
passenger touch points will take passenger experience at HIA to
greater heights. They will also allow the airport to be better
connected to its passengers and provide need based assistance.
Several aspects of the program have already been implemented and
the remaining is being trialled with phased completion planned in
the near future.” said Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief
Operating Officer at HIA.
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