Tech knocks 10 percent off DXB waiting times

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

Recent results show that in the first three months of 2017, 84 percent of transfer passengers were processed within 5 minutes, 68 percent of arrival passengers were processed within 15 minutes, and 87 percent of departing passengers were processed within ten minutes.

Smart Gates, and specifically a new service that enables the use of Emirates ID cards to pass through automated immigration gates at DXB, have pushed down immigration check point transaction times to an average of 10 to 15 seconds per passenger. Since their introduction last year over 1.3 million UAE users have taken advantage of the service.

Free of charge and requiring no pre-registration, the service is currently available on 120 Smart Gates across DXB.

A sophisticated motion sensor system has also contributed to shorter waiting times, allowing the airport to track queues in real time. The system 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. The data is conveyed via a simple mobile application in use by more than 5,000 operational staff across Dubai Airports, airlines, and control authorities working at the airport.

The app 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.”

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