Abu Dhabi International Airport to introduce Smart Travel system for reduced waiting time and shorter queues

The new AI system works to stagger passenger arrivals, facilitate social distancing and improve time-efficiency

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - - -  June 1, 2016 --- Passengers go through Abu Dhabi International Airport on Wednesday,  June 1, 2016.     ( DELORES JOHNSON / The National )  
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Abu Dhabi International Airport is trialling a new artificial intelligence Smart Travel system with the aim of reducing waiting times and shortening queues at the airport.

By assessing passenger traffic, it will work to optimise a number of processes at the airport, from check-in and immigration counter staffing to passenger arrival and departure times. The new time-efficient AI system has been developed by Abu Dhabi Airports in partnership with ConvergentAI.

"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,"  says Shareef Al Hashmi, chief executive of Abu Dhabi Airports.

"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."

As a part of the ongoing trial, select passengers travelling with Etihad Airways will be notified of the optimal time for them to turn up at the airport. It is intended that staggering passenger arrivals will mitigate crowding, enable social distancing and shorten queues.

"Over time, as the AI-powered system continues to operate, it will become smarter and further streamline passenger journeys through the airport," a statement reads.

"Minimising queuing at airports is key to safeguarding passenger health and well-being 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," says John Barton, chief of information at Abu Dhabi Airports.

The airport expects that the new AI system will also benefit its retail and food and beverage outlets.

Barton adds: "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."

The statement continues: "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 can be taught to detect irregular activity or objects and notify the relevant teams to address potential issues swiftly and efficiently."