Airlines and airports around the world are implementing new safety measures in an attempt to be ready for the uptick in travel whenever it will be. We’ve talked about the measures at some Indian airports such as Mumbai and Delhi in the past, but time to talk about one of the most frequented airports.
Hamad International Airport, Qatar’s sole airport 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.
If you happen to walk past someone wearing these helmets in the coming days at Doha’s Hamad International Airport, don’t be surprised. It is your friendly neighbourhood airport agent looking out for you, but now with a Smart Screening Helmet, a la IronMan.
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 the implementation of mobile deployment-based control scenarios. Travellers at HIA will be screened using thermal and temperature screening.
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 the majority of infectious microorganisms. The robots are being deployed in vulnerable high passenger flow areas to reduce the spread of pathogens.
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 airport is also worried about the safety of its employees. HIA will be 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. 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 touchpoints 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 the airport is considering introducing online or in-app purchases in the future.
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.
HIA states, that it has 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.
As Qatar Airways plans to start scaling up operations, Doha’s airport is also playing its part in encouraging people to use the services of the airline, and the airport in the days ahead. While a large part of the playbook will be similar, can’t say I’ve seen these helmets before at any other airport which is putting in place safety measures.
What do you make of the measures from Doha’s Hamad International Airport to protect you from the transmission of CoVid-19?