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‘Smart tunnels’ to speed up airport checks in Dubai

Dubai Airports plans to enable passengers to finish passport control procedures in 15 seconds by simply walking through biometric recognition systems

Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News
Smart tunnel system on display at General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs’ Dubai pavilion at Gitex Technology Week at Dubai World Trade Centre.
Gulf News

Dubai: In a huge step into the future, Dubai Airports will soon have smart tunnels to speed up movement of passengers, officials said on Sunday.

Officials of the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) gave pointers to the ‘Smart Tunnel’ technology during the first day of the Gitex 37 technology show at World Trade Centre.

Major Khalid Al Felasi, Assistant General Director of Smart Services in GDRFA-Dubai, told Gulf News, that the Smart Tunnels, is the new future of passport control in Dubai.

Dubai Airports' new Smart Tunnel will enable passengers to finish passport control procedures in 15 seconds by simply walking through this biometric recognition system. Take a look!

“It is the first of its kind in the world and it’s a biometric system that allows passengers to simply walk through the tunnel without doing anything. They don’t even need to show their passport. It works on face recognition technology and the passenger can finish entry procedure within 15 seconds,” Major Al Felasi said.

The GDRFA-Dubai is co-ordinating with Emirates airline for the Smart Tunnel project as part of the government accelerators initiative.

The smart tunnel system uses iris recognition technology, and passengers will have to first stand in front of the tunnel and before walking through for facial recognition. They can exit the tunnel in a few seconds without the need for passport stamping or any other human intervention.

The white tunnel includes a green-tinged digital floorboard that changes colour to red as a passenger walks through to finish the procedure.

“It is a future project and we have one tunnel presented in Gitex and later we will go to the airport to check the tunnel’s features and see what we can add to it before implementing the project,” Major Al Felasi said.

The official didn’t say when exactly the project will be launched. He said the project will include Tesla electric cars to ferry passengers to the airport and that passengers would be able to register their details during the trip to the airport.

“The car will collect passengers’ information, including the weight of the luggage, on the way to the airport and will deliver boarding pass in the car itself. It is all done by the smartphone,” he added.

When the passenger arrives at the airport, the luggage automatically goes through a smart system without the need to carry it through. The passenger can then proceed through the smart tunnel to finish passport control procedures in a few seconds.

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