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Abu Dhabi trialling new ‘Smart Travel’ system


Abu Dhabi International Airport is trialling a new enhanced ‘Smart Travel’ system, which it is confident will “shorten queues and streamline processes throughout the airport to deliver a smoother and more seamless passenger experience”.

Developed by airport operator, Abu Dhabi Airports, in partnership with ConvergentAI and powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), the new system is said to utilise big data, AI, and the rigorous modelling and assessment of passenger traffic to optimise a variety of processes across the gateway from check-in and immigration counter staffing to passenger arrival and departure times.

As a part of the ongoing trial, select passengers travelling with Etihad Airways will be informed of the optimal time for them to arrive at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

According to the airport, by staggering passenger arrivals, the new system will mitigate crowding, facilitate social distancing, and shorten queues.

And perhaps crucially, overtime, the AI-powered system will become smarter and further streamline passenger journeys through the airport.

Shareef Al Hashmi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “Innovation and digitalisation are key to the achievement of our vision of becoming the world’s leading airports group, and I am proud of the exceptional work our teams have performed over the past year as we transform our operations and strive to deliver a truly superior and seamless passenger experience.

“The enhancement of Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Smart Travel system is a significant step in our journey of continuous improvement and innovation as we shape the future airport experience.”

The gateway’s chief information officer, John Barton, noted: “Minimising queuing at airports is key to safeguarding passenger health and wellbeing 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,” added Barton.

The airport adds that the introduction of AI technology at Abu Dhabi International Airport is also benefiting airlines, retailers, and employees working at the airport in a variety of ways.

Through using AI to monitor real-time imagery of aircraft, for example, special programmes are being developed to guide on-ground teams to complete certain actions, such as the unloading of luggage or the refuelling of an aircraft at optimal times.

Abu Dhabi International Airport is also exploring the integration of AI into its safety and security systems, enabling the automated monitoring of camera feeds of the airport apron, the area in which aircraft manoeuvre and park.

AI equipped systems, it points out, can be taught to detect irregular activity or objects and notify the relevant teams to address potential issues swiftly and efficiently.

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