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Doha Airport introduces helmets and robots to combat COVID-19

written by Dylan Nicholson | May 20, 2020

The new autonomous UV robots at HIA. Photo: Hamad International Airport

Doha’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) is introducing new technologies in an effort to increase the safety of its travellers.

From 19 May, the airport is investing in robotics and special helmets to help keep passengers safe and prepare for a post-COVID era.

The futuristic looking measures include new Smart Screening Helmets which allow staff wearing them to conduct contactless temperature measurement. Using advanced technologies like infrared thermal imaging, artificial intelligence, and an augmented reality display, staff can check people’s temperatures while maintaining distance and reducing the chances of viral transmission.

HIA has also invested in fully autonomous mobile devices. Using concentrated UV-C light, the machines clean high-traffic flow areas. UV-C light is known to kill infectious micro organisms. Other airports, such as Hong Kong and Seattle’s Paine Field, are also using UV technology to clean high-traffic areas.

Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, chief operating officer at Hamad International Airport said: “HIA has adapted to the changes brought on by the spread of COVID-19 on the world, especially on the travel sector. Recovery plans have been put in place with priority given to the safety and comfort of travellers and employees. These plans include the use of the latest advanced technology to achieve the highest safety standards for the future travel experience.”

All passengers will be provided with hand sanitisers readily available at key locations. The airport will continue to maintain 1.5 metre social distancing across all passenger touch points around the airport, through floor markings, signage and distance seating. All HIA retail and food and beverage outlets will encourage cashless transactions through cards and is considering introducing online or in-app purchases in the future.

Furthermore, HIA has invested in ultraviolet disinfection tunnels that will be used to disinfect all checked-in passenger luggage (departing, arriving and transferring). The airport will also conduct regular disinfection of all baggage trolleys and tubs.

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