Posted on October 14, 2019

Hamad International Airport (HIA) has announced its participation at the much-anticipated Qatar IT Conference & Exhibition 2019 (QITCOM) as an official sponsor of the biannual event.

In line with QITCOM’s theme this year, ‘Safe, Smart Cities’, the five-star airport plans to demonstrate the second phase of its Smart Airport technology by inviting the public to its exhibition booth to experience paperless airport travel first-hand for the first-time in Qatar. During the event, HIA will also demonstrate the exciting use of robotics for passenger facilitation. The event is set to take place on the 29th October till 1st November 2019 at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC).

The state-of-the-art airport is showcasing its break-through Smart Airport technology to the public by displaying its five self-service touchpoints consisting of; self-check-in, self-bag-drop, pre-immigration, airport wayfinding touch screen and self-boarding, all of which are biometric enabled. HIA’s exciting major digital transformation of the passenger journey, through facial biometric recognition across all five key passenger touchpoints, attests that HIA is truly the airport of the future, whilst committing to ensure operational excellence.

HIA’s second phase of the Smart Airport technology, currently under trial, is a central piece of the airports digital strategy and combines passengers’ flight, passport, and facial biometric information in a single electronic record at the self-check-in kiosk or mobile app. Subsequently, only the passenger’s face is required for verification at the self-service bag-drop, automated security gate, and the automated boarding gate. This promotes a paperless travel for passengers without the need to present their passports and boarding passes, making the experience fast and seamless.

Commenting on HIA’s participation at QITCOM 2019, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at HIA stated: “We are excited to be participating at QITCOM 2019. This event is a fantastic platform for knowledge-sharing between sectors in Qatar, and a great opportunity for HIA to showcase to the public its continued investment in cutting-edge smart technologies, to provide passengers a seamless experience, fuelled with choice and flexibility. As well as demonstrating for the first time the five Smart Airport self-service touchpoints at HIA’s booth, HIA will also show to the public the exciting use of robotics for passenger facilitation and ensure a faster journey and enjoyable travel experience." 

Biometric Identity Management is also a vital piece of HIA’s digital strategy, functioning to serve the terminal's strategic priorities such as the improvement of customer experience, terminal capacity, and its security. Knowledge of exactly where the passengers are in their journey at the airport will also aim to help further improve the renowned on-time departure performance at HIA and champion its Smart Airport program as a leading global transformation in airports. The successful completion of the first major phase of HIA’s Smart Airport program has proven to be extremely popular, with up to 40% of the home carrier Qatar Airways’ passengers preferring to self-check-in; and a further 20% opting for self-bag-drop. The swift process vastly improves customer experience and allows more passengers to be managed without physical expansion of the check-in facilities. It also empowers HIA passengers by offering total control of their journey from arrival to departure.

HIA’s continued efforts and investment in cutting-edge technology through its Smart Airport program are recognised through its awards and accolades. The airport ranked the World’s 4th Best Airport by SKYTRAX 2019 and was named the Best Airport for Passenger Experience for the second consecutive year in a study by AirHelp. It also ranked 2nd best airport in the world for On-Time Performance (OTP) in OAG's Punctuality League report and was the winner for the Service Delivery Measurement in the Smart Transport Solution of the Year category at the Qatar IT Business Awards 20018. The awards recognise HIA's commitment to the highest environmental standards and responsible business practices as well as innovative facilities, five-star customer service, and state-of-the-art terminal.

QITCOM 2019 is the largest Information and Communication Technology showcase and event in Qatar. Featuring over 90 speakers, 300 technology exhibitors, 100 start-ups and 300 innovators and entrepreneurs, QITCOM 2019 will be a one-stop-shop for participants to showcase disruptive smart technologies and exchange next-generation knowledge.