Hamad International Airport (HIA) has announced the completion of the first major phase of its Smart Airport programme, which it says will enable home carrier Qatar Airways to process more than 25% of its passengers using self-service check-in and bag-drop facilities.
In partnership with SITA and CCM, HIA commissioned 62 next-generation self-service check-in kiosks and 12 self-service bag drops including future biometric technology capability. The kiosks, in use since October 15, are spread across the departures check-in hall and enable passengers to check-in, print boarding passes and bag tags; tag their bags; and drop them at the bag drop before proceeding to border control. A mobile Automated Visa Document Check, which HIA says is the first of its kind in any major airport worldwide has also been implemented which enables ground services agents to check a passenger’s visa documentation before continuing their journey.
Although the self-service kiosks and bag drop facilities are currently exclusive to Qatar Airways passengers, the plan is to extend these services to foreign airline passengers in the future. It is estimated that the processing would eventually be up to 40% faster, vastly improving customer experience; and allowing more passengers to be processed without major capital investments for physical expansion of check-in facilities.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker, commented: “As Qatar Airways’ home and hub, Hamad International Airport is the airline’s five-star gateway to the world. Initiatives like the Smart Airport program put the passenger at the heart of the airport’s strategy, helping make it one of the most technologically advanced and operationally efficient airports in the world.”