Hamad International to implement biometrics across terminal touch points
The second phase of HIA’s ‘Smart Airport’ programme sets to initiate a major digital transformation of the passenger journey across all key terminal touch points.
Hamad International Airport (HIA) has launched the second phase of its ‘Smart Airport’ programme which sets to initiate a major digital transformation of the passenger journey through facial biometric recognition across all key touch points.
The system, currently under trial, is a central piece of the airport’s digital strategy and combines passengers’ flight, passport and facial biometric information in a single electronic record at the self-check-in kiosk or mobile app. Subsequently, only the passenger’s face is required for verification at the self-service bag drop, automated security gate, and automated boarding gate.
Knowledge of exactly where the passengers are in their journey at the airport will help further improve the renowned on-time at HIA.
The successful completion of the first phase of the programme has proven to be extremely popular, with up to 40 per cent of the home carrier Qatar Airways’ passengers preferring to self-check-in; and a further 20 per cent opting for self bag drop. The swift process vastly improves customer experience and allows more passengers to be managed without physical expansion of the check-in facilities. It also empowers HIA passengers by offering total control of the journey from arrival to departure.
Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at HIA, stated: “In line with our vision and strategic plan, we continue to invest in customer-centric innovative technology to provide fast, seamless and enjoyable travel experiences. Our approach to identity management is unique and holistic, in that we foresee wide-scale deployment of biometric capability across both mandated and voluntary passenger touch points while addressing customer data privacy concerns in line with local and international regulations.”
HIA’s Smart Airport programme is helping to optimise operational processes and the utilisation of resources and assets at the airport. For instance, the Service Delivery Measurement system enables real-time monitoring of passenger wait times, thus allowing tactical decisions to recover service levels by deploying additional resources when the wait time exceeds targets. The performance trends also help inform design decisions for future terminal capacity and passenger flows, a benefit to HIA as it begins the next phase of its expansion plan this year.
Another example is the airport’s ongoing implementation of airport collaborative decision making (A-CDM) platform. Once fully operational, this platform will enable more effective collaboration between all airport stakeholders to optimise flight turn around processes, further improving HIA’s efficiency and on-time performance.