Hamad International Airport (HIA) and SITA have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which provides a framework for the two partners to trial and enhance innovative passenger processing solutions at the airport in Doha, Qatar.
The key focus of the MoU is to advance HIA’s initiative to implement seamless biometric identity management across all key passenger service points. Trials will also be held to evaluate the effectiveness of robots for passenger facilitation – blockchain technology for the rapid and secure sharing of data across stakeholders, and the potential use of augmented and virtual reality for operational concepts.
SITA will also be supplying and commissioning 62 of its next-generation common-use check-in kiosks, with bag tag printing capability, at HIA. This will enhance the passenger experience for self-service check-in and enable progressive deployment of self-service bag-drop facilities.
The IT provider will also be supplying and commissioning boarding pass verification e-gates, which will be located prior to departures’ border control. These kiosks and e-gates will have the ability to use biometrics to identify passengers.
Badr Mohammed Al Meer, chief operating officer at Hamad International Airport, said, “HIA’s efforts toward innovation and its strategic alliances with key partners such as SITA, all contribute toward its ‘Smart Airport’ vision that was officially launched in May 2016 under the patronage of HE the prime minister and minister of interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani. Our aim is to empower our passengers to experience a seamless journey at their own pace, all the while keeping them informed about what matters to them most.
“The use of biometrics as the only verification required at each passenger touchpoint along the airport journey will go a long way in improving the flow of passengers, providing a better travel experience as well as greater operational visibility for the stakeholders.
“SITA has already demonstrated excellent capability and agility in pioneering and optimizing biometric exit checks for the boarding process at HIA. We believe that such joint efforts will contribute to digital transformations across the air transport industry.”
In line with HIA’s strategy, all systems that are being acquired and upgraded for passenger processing, such as for check-in, bag drop, and aircraft boarding, are specified for integration with biometric sensors. Such capability will not only provide enhanced security oversight but also holds tremendous potential to deliver a smooth end-to-end journey through the airport using a single biometric token.
Hani El-Assaad, SITA president, Middle East, India and Africa, added, “We at SITA welcome the opportunity to work with a world-leading hub such as Hamad International Airport to push the boundaries of innovation to truly change the way passengers will travel in future. Our vision to make air travel easier at every step fits neatly with HIA’s ‘Smart Airport’ vision and together we can help reshape the future of air transport.”