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A tech guide to embracing the new normal at airports

A tech guide to embracing the new normal at airports

New technologies assist in enforcing social distancing guidelines at airports

Flashback to the beginning of 2020 when the world was trying to gauge the new situation and analyse solutions for tackling the crisis – a novel global pandemic.

We didn’t have the right technological tools to equip without fully knowing and learning about the disease with each passing day. These concerns were part of ongoing conference calls, webinars, and more. Businesses around the world were affected and made to look at a new direction to keep moving, while simultaneously ensuring their employees and stakeholders are safe. With travel being one of the highly affected sectors, there was, and continues to be, a growing need for businesses to quickly adapt to the new normal.

Jump to today, as we set foot outside while keeping social distancing and safety rules in place, we are also relying on technology in helping us track and respond to situations adequately. This is especially crucial at airports where crowd management is the biggest challenge and a factor affecting the travel and tourism industry at large. Airports are looking for innovative solutions to efficiently monitor and tackle the situation in a timely manner. As daunting as this task may seem, it is essential to ensure the safety of passengers and staff who are using shared spaces at the airport. Managing passenger flow with personnel always accounts for extra costs and added working hours, but fortunately, technology companies such as Bosch have the solutions suited for this problem.

To ensure smooth functioning of the industry, government authorities along with private organisations have started deploying new technologies that help in adhering to social distancing guidelines, with fast detection of the whereabouts and clear communication. These are some of the basic requirements expected to be managed by operation teams, in addition to the installation of intelligent cameras for people counting on-site which would facilitate their lives. People counting enables navigating and then managing crowds in public places, mainly at airports. To support social distancing, cameras with built-in video analytics are helpful since they count the people entering and exiting an area and then update the digital signs with a simple traffic light system that can cover single entrances or even sync with multi-entrance software for larger areas.

Additionally, maintaining the highest level of security is crucial at airports, especially during these challenging times. Therefore, solutions including airport perimeter security, people counting, communicating clearly in different areas, airfield safety, evacuation, and detection of smoke and flames, would aid the process of medical safety and physical security, keeping the wellbeing of the public at top priority.

The UAE’s Covid-19 response has been appreciated and applauded globally and it is this leadership and management that has led the tourism industry in the country to be back in gear. This development adds to the need for technological advancement as we move towards adapting newer solutions to support and enhance our lives. The government is eyeing tech providers to regulate safety standards and enhance lives, and we are ready to equip the community with solutions as needed.

Per Johansson is the general manager, Robert Bosch Middle East 

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