Passengers at the Dubai Airport Terminal 3 Metro Station Image Credit: Xpress /Abdel-Krim Kallouche

Dubai : The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will provide check-in facilities for airline passengers at select Metro stations, a top official at the RTA said.

Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad, Director of Operations of the Rail Agency at the RTA, said: "RTA is currently working out with Emirates airline to provide check-in facilities at Metro stations."

He said the actual date for the availability of this provision would be duly notified. While details are yet to be finalised, sources said the Baggage Handling System (BHS) for check-in facilities at the Metro stations would entail much work.

Typically, the BHS at Metro stations worldwide are either automatic or semi-manual.

The working of the automatic system requires a high level of technology. For instance, the Sibag Train BHS from German major Siemens Mobility employed in some metros, including upcoming stations in Delhi, India, enables airport travellers to check-in their baggage at designated stations before getting on the trains.

Boarding cards are given at these stations so that they can proceed straight to the security check at the airport and onward to the departure gate. The baggage arrives at the airport separately and is fed into the airport BHS and security check, before being loaded on to the aircraft.

To ensure seamless baggage transport from the station to the airport, the baggage car on the train is equipped with a conveyor system. An automatic container loading mechanism located at the station platform loads the "containerised" baggage through the door and on to the conveyor in the car. When the train enters the Metro station, the container system is aligned to the loading door of the baggage car. The loading of passengers and containers takes place simultaneously, the process being controlled automatically.

Officials from Siemens did not comment on whether the firm will provide the BHS for Dubai Metro. The company currently provides the BHS at Dubai International Airport's Terminals 1 and 3.

Christoph Oftring, International Sales Manager, Airport Division at Crisplont of the Beumer Group, which provides BHS at the crew terminal for Emirates, said a semi-manual BHS is more feasible.

"There should not be a technical overkill just to transfer a few bags," he said, adding that semi-manual transfer of bags is often more practical.