Doha’s Hamad International Airport unveils new Covid-19 technology measures

(All images: HIA)

Doha’s Hamad International Airport (IATA: DOH), has introduced new equipment and procedures to help it prepare for the post-Covid-19 return of air travel.

The airport will be using robotics and advanced thermal screening helmets as part of the measures being introduced to enhance customer and staff safety.

The airport’s chief operating officer, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, commented: “HIA has adapted to the changes brought on by the spread of Covid-19 on the world, especially on the travel sector. Recovery plans have been put in place with priority given to the safety and comfort of travellers and employees. These plans include the use of the latest advanced technology to achieve the highest safety standards for the future travel experience.”

The airport will continue to use the thermal screening cameras and disinfection procedures it introduced for all staff and passengers last month, but now a new ‘smart screening helmet’ has been introduced. Hamad International described it as a wearable ‘intelligent’ helmet, which is portable, safe and effective, and enables contactless temperature measurement. The helmet uses multiple advanced technologies such as infrared thermal imaging, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality (AR) display. It can also enable implementation of mobile deployment-based control scenarios.

The airport authority has also invested in disinfectant robots, which are fully autonomous mobile devices emitting concentrated UV-C light, which are known to be effective in eliminating majority of infectious microorganisms. The robots are being deployed in vulnerable high passenger flow areas to reduce the spread of pathogens. An airport statement said all passengers will be provided with hand sanitisers readily available at key locations and its 5ft (1.5m) social distancing rule will be maintained across all passenger touch points, highlighted through floor markings, signage and distance seating. All its retail and food and beverage outlets will encourage cashless transactions through cards and is considering introducing online or in-app purchases in the future.

It has also invested in ultraviolet disinfection tunnels that will be used to disinfect all checked-in passenger luggage (departing, arriving, and transferring) and will also disinfect all baggage trolleys and tubs regularly.

Its employees must use masks and gloves in all areas and will use a face mask detection system which utilises artificial intelligence and computer vision technologies to automatically detect if everyone is wearing a mask.