HIA’s New COVID-19 Prevention Technology


The latest screening technology has now been installed at Hamad International Airport (HIA), this includes an innovative algorithm that helps security personnel to quickly identify explosive materials that are stored in complex items and structures. The system also enables passengers to have the ability to carry electronic devices such as computers, tablets, digital cameras, etc. in their hand luggage when going through security checkpoints; improving customer satisfaction standards with more hygiene standard benefits. 


Upon gradual reopening of transfer gates, the new C2 technology will initially be introduced through all transit screening checkpoints. It will greatly enhance security at the airport while speeding up the inspection process and improving efficiency throughout. The implementation of this system will allow HIA to meet a higher level of explosive detection system that is recognized Internationally.


The ECAC C2 Detection Standard will classify hazardous materials in congested bags, including electronic devices that were previously to be separated from bags in the previous protocol. When the bag is placed for screening on the X-ray, it can be collected for re-screening or physical inspections without any further stops. The system is also a significant COVID-19 countermeasure, as it reduces potential cross-contamination between passenger carry-on bags. Implementing the technology will raise hygiene standards at the airport by limiting human contact at security checkpoints, making the process both for staff and passengers safer and faster.


Saeed Yousef Al-Sulaiti, Vice President – Security at Hamad International Airport said: “The security process at HIA is continuously improving through the introduction of cutting-edge technologies. Our goal is to make the travel journey safer, given the current COVID-19 pandemic. During these challenging times, our priority remains to protect passengers while preserving security. Through the implementation of C2 technology, we can accomplish a more efficient protocol that addresses all passenger concerns. Our passenger-centric strategy helps us continue our investments towards that front while developing solutions that are in the best interest of our people.”


Using this new technology will improve the efficiency of HIA ‘s passenger processing, while reducing queue times at security points. This enables HIA to provide all passengers with a smooth and trouble-free journey, and to retain its reputation as an airport that consistently meets the highest safety and security standards in the world.


HIA is looking into the possibility of introducing body scanners to provide better safety outcomes while gradually phasing out all procedures for body search. This possible technology in a COVID-19 Global Outbreak should prove helpful as it helps to minimize contact during body searches.


In addition, Qatar’s international airport is investigating the introduction of a combination of anti-bacterial trays at checkpoints and automated UV-emitting modules that will automatically disinfect the trays passengers touch, to further protect the health and safety of all HIA passengers.


In 2019 HIA reported previous achievements in its industry-leading security transfer screening, experiencing shorter queue times at security points that can handle up to 6,000 passengers during peak hours. Additional transfer halls were also implemented at the airport, allowing 95 percent of transfer passengers to queue for under five minutes.


Qatar ‘s airport recently announced the successful completion of the second phase of its Smart Airport System, by implementing biometric identification technology to deliver a quick, safe and contactless airport experience. The system enables passengers to integrate their biometric flight, passport, and face details in a ‘single travel token’ at the self-check-in kiosk. Finally, this digital identification record lets the passenger face their pass at main touchpoints in the airport, such as bag-drop self-service, pre-immigration, e-gate and self-boarding gate. HIA’s innovative approach and early investment in biometric identification technology have proven to be an incredibly successful weapon in HIA ‘s prevention in the spread of COVID-19, enabling passengers to travel across key touch points with minimal physical contact.


The world’s third-best airport has launched a number of groundbreaking initiatives including its investment in robots and sophisticated thermal scanning helmets, in its attempt to further protect its personnel and passengers against COVID-19. HIA also acquired disinfectant robots, fully autonomous mobile devices that emit intense UV-C light, which are considered to be effective in removing most infectious microorganisms. To control the spread of pathogens, the robots are deployed around the terminal in sensitive high passenger flow areas. The airport has now introduced ultraviolet disinfection tubes that would be used to disinfect all passenger baggage checked in (departure, entry, and transfer). 


HIA will continue to lead the industry at the forefront of technological change, embracing innovative and smart screening technologies to improve its security measures while ensuring a safe and seamless passenger journey.

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