Walk-through smart airport tunnel in Dubai by May end

Immigration directorate plans to enable passengers to finish passport control procedures in 10 seconds

Pankaj Sharma/Gulf NewsThe smart tunnel system on display at the Gitex Technology Week last year.

Dubai: Dubai Airports will have a smart tunnel to speed up the movement of passengers by the end of May, a top official said on Tuesday.

Major-General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) said the smart tunnel will be a huge leap into the future of passport control in Dubai.

“The smart tunnel will be at Dubai International Airport by the end of May and will be in an experimental phase. It will use artificial intelligence, a first of its kind in the world,” Maj-Gen Al Merri said during the Dubai International Government Achievements Exhibition.

The smart tunnel technology was unveiled during Gitex Technology Week last year, and it is a biometric system that allows passengers to walk through the tunnel without doing anything.

“Passengers don’t even need to show their passport or Emirates ID as it works on face recognition technology and it can finish entry procedure within 10 seconds,” Maj-Gen Al Merri added.

The GDRFA – Dubai is coordinating with Emirates airline for the smart tunnel project as part of the government accelerators initiative.

The system uses iris recognition technology, and passengers will have to first stand in front of the tunnel 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.

Meanwhile, over 13.6 million passengers travelled through Dubai Airports in the first three months of 2018, according to GDRFA – Dubai. As many as 877,074 passengers used smart gates at the departure and arrival points.


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