Abu Dhabi to leverage big data and AI to smooth passenger journeys

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Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is trialing a new enhanced ‘Smart Travel’ system, developed by the airport in partnership with specialist ConvergentAI, which aims to help shorten queues and streamline processes throughout the airport.

The system employs big data and AI, alongside modeling and assessment of passenger traffic, to optimize a variety of processes across the airport, from check-in and immigration counter staffing to passenger arrival and departure times.

As part of the ongoing trial, selected passengers traveling with Etihad Airways will be informed of the optimal time to arrive at the airport. By staggering passenger arrivals, the airport’s operators hope the system will mitigate crowding, facilitate social distancing and shorten queues. The developers say that over time, as the AI-powered system continues to operate, it will become smarter and further streamline passenger journeys through the airport.

John Barton, chief information officer at the airport, explained, “Minimizing queuing at airports is key to safeguarding passenger health and well-being and streamlining operations, which is why we are working with our airline partners and ConvergentAI to precisely model our passengers’ journeys and improve them at every step. By enabling passengers to quickly and seamlessly transition through check-in, immigration and boarding, we are providing them with more time to enjoy everything Abu Dhabi International Airport has to offer, from first-rate dining to superior duty-free offerings.”

The introduction of AI technology should also benefit airlines, retailers and employees working at the airport in a variety of ways. Through the use of AI to monitor real-time imagery of aircraft, special programs are being developed to guide on-ground teams to complete certain actions, such as the unloading of luggage or the refueling of aircraft at optimal times.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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