Staff Writer May 8th 2017

A combination of new technologies has reduced passenger wait times by 10% at DXB

Passenger wait times at Dubai International (DXB) have dropped by as much as 10% during the first quarter of 2017 thanks to the implementation of new technologies at the world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic.

Recent results show that in the first three months of 2017, 84% of transfer passengers were processed within five minutes, 68% of arrival passengers were processed within 15 minutes, and 87% of departing passengers were processed within ten minutes.

Express experience

The first technology driving down transaction times and queues at immigration check points is Smart Gates, specifically a new service that enables the use of Emirates ID cards to pass through automated immigration gates at DXB.

This has pushed down transaction times to an average of 10 to 15 seconds per passenger. Since its introduction last year over 1.3 million UAE users have taken advantage of the service.

Completely free of charge and requiring no pre-registration, the service is available on some 120 Smart Gates across DXB and makes passing through immigration fast and convenient for all UAE residents.

Launched last year by GDRFA (General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs), Emirates Identity Authority and Dubai Airports, the system can quickly, accurately and efficiently confirm the identity, travel plans and eligibility of UAE residents to enter and depart the country.

Sixth sense

Another technology behind shorter wait times is a sophisticated motion sensor system that allows the airport to track queues in real time. This consists of a series of 530 sensors that have been installed at crucial passenger processing areas in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 at DXB.

The sensors track the movement of people, collecting and computing valuable data like passenger wait times and queue lengths, and based on those factors, calculating the prevailing level of service. Data is shared via a simple mobile application used by more than 5,000 operational staff across Dubai Airports, airlines, and control authorities working at the airport.

The mobile application alerts all teams in real time and allows Dubai Airports operational staff to quickly identify bottlenecks and facilitate the deployment of resources to address them. Terminal 2 implementation is slated to take place during 2017.

“This automated system provides us with timelier and more accurate data more quickly than the manual system that was used previously,” said Frank McCrorie, Dubai Airports’ Senior Vice President of Operations at DXB. “As a result, the operations team and other organisations that work across the airport now have a bird’s eye view of bottlenecks, allowing them to better manage staffing levels and lanes, and improve the overall customer experience. We have more work to do in this area, but we are pleased with progress to date.”

The access to historical, day-to-day, month-on-month data also means Dubai Airports’ planning teams can identify trends and predict problems before they occur. The analysis has enhanced collaborative decision making between stakeholders and boosted service levels.

Both technologies support Dubai Airports’ DXB Plus programme designed to improve service while increasing capacity to 118 million passengers at DXB by 2018.

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