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Posted On: 11 November 2014 04:39 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:14 pm

Airport plans new e-system to avoid immigration queues

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Hamad International Airport will introduce a cutting-edge technology to avoid long passenger queues at immigration at arrival and departure terminals, Bader Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer of the airport, said yesterday.

“We are looking forward to introducing an advanced electronic system to facilitate passengers towards immigration which is much better than the traditional electronic token system or e-gates.

“We expect to test it soon,” Al Meer said on the sidelines of an event to announce the opening of the Airport Hotel and Vitality Spa at the airport.

Asked about details, he only said: “We are reviewing a few things about the system, once tests are successful and the management decides that it is ready for operation, we will announce it.”

On long queues at immigration, he said: “There is no long waiting time as we have enough immigration counters for departure and arrival passengers. We have set a timeframe for every passenger to go through the counters.”

However, he admitted that during occasions such as Eid, Christmas and vacations it takes a little longer for immigration, but the airport is always prepared to cope with the expected rush.

In September, some respondents to a survey, launched by Airport Security and Passports Department to improve services, had suggested an electronic token system to guide passengers to immigration to avoid delays.

Some had recommended indicators on top of immigration desks which should turn green once officials are ready to serve passengers. This would also help assess the officials’ efficiency.

The survey was launched on the website of the Ministry of Interior in Arabic to collect public feedback. In the absence of any automatic system, security personnel remain present 24x7 to guide every passenger to immigration desks.

Asked about the Airport City project, Al Meer said: “The master plan is in design stage for all districts and the New Doha International Airport Steering Committee is reviewing it, so I am not able to comment.”

The project on a 10sqkm area is to be completed over 30 years. It will have four circular zones — Business District, Aviation Campus, Logistics District and Residential District — connected by a Green Spine parallel to the second runway.