This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

Qatar’s Hamad International Airport plans to ramp up biometric solutions alongside other innovations such as VR and robotics on its way to become a Smart Airport.

Hamad International Airport (HIA) and SITA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which provides the framework for the two companies to implement or trial biometrics, robots, blockchain, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology solutions at the Doha hub airport.

SITA is a multinational information technology company providing IT and telecommunication services to the air transport industry.

The main focus of the MoU is to advance HIA’s plans to implement seamless identity management across all key passenger touch-points using biometrics. The formalisation of the partnership follows last year’s pilot of biometric exit checks, according to securitydocumentworld.com.

It has also been revealed that SITA will be supplying and commissioning 62 of its latest-generation common-use check-in kiosks with self-tagging capabilities, as well as e-gates prior to border control in departures. Initially, three kiosks and e-gates will be able to use biometric technology to identify passengers, while biometric sensors and readers can be added to the others at a later date.

Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer, Hamad International Airport, said: “HIA’s efforts towards innovation and its strategic alliances with key partners such as SITA all contribute towards 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 touch-point 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 optimising 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.”