Dubai Airports Check-inalmost 3 years ago !M! Suzy
Imagine checking in at the airport within 20 seconds? Or breeze through immigration and clear security without having to offload your laptop, watch, wallet and other personal belongings? Or get a smart device that can guide you through every step of your journey?
Well, all this and more will soon be a reality at Dubai airports, thanks to a host of new technologies being launched in the coming months.
Speaking at ‘The Future of Borders’, the first international conference hosted by the General Directorate for Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai on Wednesday, Major General Ahmed Al Marri, Director General, GDRFA Dubai, said, “We will soon launch the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) to support direct flight connections to 149 cities. The system will reduce passenger check-in procedure to less than 20 seconds.”
Laila Hareb, Assistant Director General, Strategy and International Affairs, General Civil Aviation Authority, explained how the APIS data base can help different departments to do a risk analysis prior to a passenger’s departure or arrival. It can also monitor and track transit of passengers and enhance security. The system, which captures data form passports, will pave the way for ‘board’ or ‘no board’ approvals
Thani Abdulla Alzaffin, director-general and board member of tech major Emaratech, spoke on how passenger experience will be further eased in UAE airports through technologies that will save on processing time.
To begin with, he said Dubai will go live with a new system this weekend to standardise passenger processing and data exchange across the emirates, with Sharjah following suit in summer. “This unified system is the backbone of free information flow and will handle everything from issuance of permits to border control.”
He said the system will be integrated with several smart technologies, including ‘eye n’, a new intelligent travel gate which will make passenger flow through immigration a sail-through.
In what will come as a huge relief for passengers, he said they will soon be able to pass through security without having to offload their personal belongings, like laptops, watches, belts and wallets, as a new security scanner using patented technology will be installed at security checks. “We plan to pilot this technology during summer. This will increase efficiency as it will save on offload and collection time. We expect to cover 400 passengers per hour, up from the current 300 with this scanner. The industry average is 200-250.”
He said Emaratech will also be introducing a unique smart device to offer indoor guidance and navigation for passengers.
Michael Herrero, IATA Area Manager, Gulf, emphasised the need for a customer-centric experience with a focus on real-time interaction and self-control over the journey. The key to faster travel lay in self-service covering everything from auto or no check-ins and self-boarding to self bag tagging and bag recovery and tracking.