GN graphic based on smart trolley presentation slide by emaratech
Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Soon, travellers at Dubai International Airport (DXB) will no longer need to take out or unpack bottles and electronics devices from their carry-on bags at security checks - a smart scanning system will automatically clear them for boarding.

This was announced during the two-day ‘International Conference on Policymaking: The Future of Ports’, which concluded on Wednesday in Dubai.

Officials during the ‘The International Conference on Policymaking: The Future of Ports’ in Dubai on Wednesday
Officials during the ‘The International Conference on Policymaking: The Future of Ports’ in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Technology services company emaratech revealed that it is developing a smart scanning system for DXB. The company is waiting to get certification for the technology and hopes to roll it out later this year or early next year.

Slide showing overview of the smart scanner, during the presentation Image Credit: Aghaddir Ali/Gulf News

How it works

Thani Al Zaffin, director-general and board member of emaratech, explained how the new technology will work:

1. The carry-on bags will be placed on a smart trolley

2. The smart trolley will pass through a smart X-ray scanner

3. The scanner will detect and analyse the contents inside the bags and colour-code them - green means safe; red calls for a manual security check

4. All allowed bottles, liquids and electronic devices will appear green on the display for the security official; items appearing red will be further examined

5. The traveller will collect the trolley after it passes through the scanner

Clear view

Al Zaffin said the scanner will render the items in 3D, making it easier for the security official to differentiate between ‘red’ items - which could be dangerous, prohibited, unclear, or suspicious - and ‘green’ items. In comparison, conventional and standard X-ray scanners only display a flat 2D image of the contents, with images of items superimposed on each other.

Comparison between conventional scan (left) and the proposed smart system Image Credit: Aghaddir Ali/Gulf News

Fast passage

The new system will also, he added, vastly reduce “false alarms” and the time spent on checking the luggage manually. There will be no need to unpack electronic devices and bottles containing liquids from the carry-on luggage before the security check, Al Zaffin explained - meaning a quick passage through security.

Al Zaffain said when people travel, they have to take out watches and other belongings at security. “Going forward, when you come for check-in, you can take the smart trolley, put everything in it and just push it in the smart scanner, which will give the officer a 3D view of items. This technology identifies the difference between harmful and unharmful objects and liquids. It’s a scannable trolley.”

‘Airport concierge’

The trolley will also have a touch-screen display to provide updates and details to passengers about their flight, gate, retail offers, facilities, current location in the airport and other information.

The screen on the trolley will show live updates Image Credit: Aghaddir Ali/Gulf News

“This will increase efficiency of airports to handle 450 passengers per hour, from the current average of 150 passengers per hour,” Al Zaffin said.

“The smart trolley is your airport concierge and guide. You scan the boarding pass and have all the details [about the airport] on the screen in front of you. It’s like Google of the airport, with indoor navigation. It walks you to any facility you seek. Since we know where you are at the airport, we can pick you up before you miss the flight, while you’re enjoying the experiences at DXB.”

Thani Al Zaffin, director-general and board member of emaratech at the conference Image Credit: Aghaddir Ali/Gulf News

‘Proactive policies’

Also at the Conference, organised by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai), five new proactive policies were announced by the GDRFA-Dubai:

• security compliance policy for the violators and foreigners follow-up sector

• smooth travel through Dubai airports - carried out by the airports sector

• safe ports policy - implemented by the land and sea ports sector

• policy of continuous learning and talent development, carried out by the human and financial resources sector.

• Happy Resident Policy, by the Entry and Residence Permits Sector

The winning team with the best proactive policy was announced as the Security Compliance Policy Team from Violators and Foreigners Follow-up Sector