Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar

Hamad Airport to use facial recognition at passenger touch points

Biometrics In-trip New technology News

Hamad International Airport has started the second phase of its Smart Airport program as part of its plan to use digital technology throughout the airport.

This stage means the passenger will be tracked through facial biometric recognition across key passenger touch points.

The system, currently under trial, combines passengers’ flight, passport, and facial biometric information in a single electronic record at the self-check-in kiosk or mobile app.

After the facial biometric is captured, only the passenger’s face is required for verification at the self-service bag-drop, automated security gate, and the automated boarding gate.

The airport says that knowing exactly where the passengers are in their journey at the airport will help further improve the on-time record.

In the first phase, up to 40% of Qatar Airways’ passengers used self-check-in; and a further 20% used self-bag-drop.

The airport also says the process improves the passenger experience and allows more passengers to be managed without physical expansion of the check-in facilities. The latter is always one of the main reasons for introducing self-service.

Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at HIA:

“In line with our vision and strategic plan, we continue to invest in customer-centric innovative technology to provide fast, seamless and enjoyable travel experience to be the airport of choice for our discerning customers. 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 relevant local and international regulations.”

The Smart Airport program helps optimize operational processes the use of resources and assets. For example, the Service Delivery Measurement system monitors passenger wait times meaning the airport can take tactical decisions to deploy additional resources when the wait time exceeds targets.

The performance trends also help inform design decisions for future terminal capacity and passenger flows.

Hamad International Airport and biometrics

In April 2016, Hamad International Airport unveiled a new program to become a ‘smart airport’ by integrating the latest self-service technologies.

In October 2017, the Doha airport and SITA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which provides a framework for the two partners to trial and add passenger processing solutions involving biometrics, robotics, blockchain, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

The main focus of the MoU is to advance HIA’s initiative to use seamless identity management across all key passenger service points using biometrics.

Source: Hamad International Airport

N.B. Image credit: Hamad International Airport

Internet links

Hamad International Airport (DOH)

SITA Smart Path