How passenger check-in & boarding solutions can minimise airport queues

At Bayanat Engineering Qatar, we specialise in providing airports across the globe with world-class aviation solutions. In this publication, we discuss how passenger check-in and boarding solutions can be optimised to minimise airport wait times, and how Bayanat Engineering Qatar can help.

Why are airports experiencing increased wait times & delays?

The past 2 years have seen passenger levels in UK airports dip to 5% of the footfall experienced pre-pandemic. During this time, airlines have been forced to let staff go, with a number of employees also choosing to leave their positions for better prospects elsewhere.
As we emerge into a post-COVID world, the number of people choosing to travel abroad has increased, meaning that airports are once again flooded with holidaymakers and those travelling for business purposes. Airlines are facing more passengers with fewer or inexperienced staff, resulting in long queues, delayed flights and unhappy customers.

How can passenger check-in & boarding solutions be optimised?

Optimising passenger check-in and boarding processes can help to minimise wait times and prevent flight delays, enabling airports to run smoothly. But how exactly can these processes be optimised for smoother travel, and what would this implementation look like for airline staff?
Digital self-services

Already introduced in select airports across the UK, rolling out widespread digital self-check-in services would dramatically reduce wait times and the pressures on airline staff. Whilst it’s already common for travellers with only hand luggage to check in online prior to arriving at the airport, new technology enables passengers to check luggage into the hold using self-service machines.

Self-service bag drop-off points enable passengers to print off their own luggage tags and boarding passes before passing their bags through to the hold. This leads to reduced wait times for travellers, and fewer check-in staff needed by airlines. In using self-service check-in, airports also require fewer kiosks and are therefore able to free up space for increased traveller numbers.

Biometric boarding verification

Long queues at the gate when boarding can be frustrating for passengers, overwhelming for staff and delaying for flights. Biometric verification processes can be used to accelerate boarding, with digital software utilised for facial recognition and barcode scanning.

By accelerating boarding, airlines can reduce the likelihood of flight delays, ensuring planes leave the runaway within their allocated timeframe. This contributes to the overall smooth running of the airport.

Automated border control

A study carried out by Which? found that post-Brexit border control wait times have increased drastically. Implementing automated border control solutions could help to minimise queueing, with facial recognition software utilised to see passengers through the process smoothly.

Experts in airport management and optimization

At Bayanat Engineering, we have 40 years of experience providing premium airport and aviation solutions. By implementing our check-in, boarding and passport control solutions, airports can optimise traveller experience and ensure staff aren’t spread too thin. To find out more about how Bayanat Engineering Qatar – contact us today!

The importance of Meteorological & Weather Management systems in an airport

When running an airport, there is a wide range of systems and services that need to be in the best shape to ensure the best outcomes. Meteorological and weather management systems are fundamental aspects of an airport that not only keep flights as comfortable as possible but can save lives. In this article, we discuss why meteorological and weather management systems are so important to an airport, along with examples of these weather systems in action.

What are meteorological & weather management systems?

Meteorological & weather management systems are those that airports use for tracking weather patterns. This includes everything from understanding the wind around the airport at any given moment to tracking weather fronts and learning when rain is due at the airport. Some of the systems airports use include:

• Weather RADARs: Tracking weather fronts through the sky by using sound waves.

• Wind profilers: Understanding the direction and strength of wind.

• Runway Visual Range: Establishing the visibility pilots have on approach to the runway.

• Weather Decision Support Systems: Automating weather decisions and understanding how weather affects flights.

• Lightning detection systems: Finding the lightning in the surrounding area and estimating the location of future lightning strikes.

Why are meteorological & weather management systems important?

Meteorological & weather management systems are important for a range of reasons. These reasons include:

Guiding planes

In some rare cases, weather fronts are too dangerous for pilots to fly through. These affect the stability of planes and can lead to damage or even complete crashes. By understanding weather systems, air traffic controllers can let pilots know what is ahead of them and guide them around it. This process removes the risk of damage from weather and ensures that everyone is completely safe and secure when travelling through the skies.

Scheduling

As you might expect, inclement weather conditions cause a lot of harm to the scheduling plans that an airline has. After all, landing in poor weather is a more dangerous process, the taxiway is slicker and turbulence plays its own part in slowing planes down. Having a better understanding of weather ensures that airports are able to schedule ahead of time. By using accurate weather forecasts for the week ahead, an airport can adjust its schedules to more realistically reflect the weather. This ensures that the airport manages to service all of the flights for the period in the most timely manner possible.

Increasing comfort

Using meteorological systems in an effective way also helps airports to make their passengers feel as comfortable as possible. Travelling through the pounding rain and buffeting winds can cause anxiety, so having secondary routes in place is ideal for an airport. This means that using Qatar as an example, aircraft can approach Hamad International Airport from over Saudi Arabia rather than the Persian Gulf. These are relatively small changes, but significantly affect the passenger experience on an aircraft.

Bayanat Engineering Qatar

If you’re interested in weather management systems for your airport, get in touch with the Bayanat Engineering expert team today to find out more about our services and systems.

The underrated benefits of professional services in an airport

When you travel through an airport, many people are taken aback in wonder at some of the technology. After all, from RADAR to communication systems, airports are impressive feats of engineering requiring a lot of technical know-how. However, many people underrate the strength of an airport’s professional services and human support. In this article, we discuss some of the professional services in an airport, what professional services entail and why professional services are so important.

Design

Design is one of the most important aspects of running an airport. When the majority of people think about design in an airport, they consider signage or the branding that they see around them. This is a major part of an airport, getting everyone where they need to be by the time their flights sets off.

However, it isn’t the only aspect of design in an airport. “Human design” refers to the way that airports integrate people into the design. This includes the way that queues move throughout an airport, with logisticians and designers ensuring that people move quickly and efficiently. If someone puts something anywhere in an airport, it’s likely the result of a long design process.

Maintenance

Professional services in an airport also refer to the maintenance of equipment throughout the airport. Even the best equipment can go through wear and tear, and this is the case with weather RADAR and other technical equipment. Professional services ensure that an airport has all of its equipment working properly and keeping passengers safe.

Maintenance staff also resolve customer-facing issues. This refers to everything from vending machines to information points. The customer experience is one of the most important parts of running an airport like Bayanat International Airport, so ensuring that maintenance planning and execution are of the right standard is a necessity for a successful experience running an airport.

Project management

Project management is an important service in any industry, and this is especially the case for airports. As the world becomes more global and interconnected, airports are becoming hubs that people sometimes use on a day-to-day basis, connecting countries and continents together. This sometimes relies on airport expansions, with new runways and terminals popping up to meet a rising need for capacity. Project management is a necessity for completing this work.

Project management entails a significant amount of oversight from the very start to the end of a project. This includes supporting the design process, allocating resources across organisations and meeting with clients and stakeholders when updating people with an interest in the progress of the project. Effective management of a project ensures that organisations finish projects on time and within their budgets, getting cities and countries ready to face the wider world as airports grow in importance.

Bayanat Engineering Qatar
If you’re interested in the role of professional services in an airport and want to know more about increasing the efficiency of an airport, contact the Bayanat Engineering team. We have a wealth of experience in airport systems and services, so we can provide you with the support and advice you need to use professional services more effectively

Satellites explained: What they are, why they are important and what they do

One of the underrated parts of the modern technological landscape is the satellite. Satellites play an integral part in a range of systems, helping us with everything from communications to GPS. Find out more about what satellites are, what they do and why they are so important to our way of life.

What are satellites?

Primarily, satellites are craft that various companies and countries put into a geostationary orbit. However, the term also refers to both matter that is naturally in orbit (such as asteroids) and “litter”, parts of spacecraft that remain in orbit after their initial missions. In this article, we’re specifically referring to ‘matter’ that humans deliberately put in orbit. Satellites enter orbit for several reasons, including scientific purposes, communication and even as a means of supporting the entertainment industry.

Why are satellites useful?

Satellites are especially useful tools for sending information across the planet. This is because many satellites are “geostationary”, which means that they remain above the same point on Earth constantly. The vacuum of space makes their momentum incredibly consistent, so placing a satellite in a stable orbit such as this is relatively simple.

Using a satellite is also ideal for the transmission of data as satellites have a clear line of sight. This refers to the route the beam of information takes having no objects in the way, as the information doesn’t need to contend with buildings or hills, as is the case with using the same wireless signals at ground level. Organisations use large networks of satellites when transmitting information around the planet, avoiding the risk of the planet itself blocking signals.

What services use satellites?

Several services and technologies use satellites, including:

Global Positioning Systems

GPS, or Global Position Systems, was initially a US military creation used for more precise targeting of weaponry and guidance of military units. The system eventually became available for public use, triangulating the location of a receiver or handset between several satellites and establishing precise locations, sometimes to within as little as 30cm. This is an important piece of technology for the aviation industry, supporting aircraft in their navigation around the world.

Satellite phones

Satellite phones are communication devices that do not use phone towers, instead beaming signals up to satellite networks and back. These phones have a certain degree of latency as a result of their remote usage, also using more power. However, the fact that they are useful anywhere a satellite can see makes them the perfect tool for anyone exploring more remote areas of the world and seeking precautions to stay safe.

Television
Satellites are the backbone of TV infrastructure. They receive the signal from the TV station before beaming it across the planet, providing viewers with news and entertainment on demand. Early TV systems used simple broadcast towers, but increasing complexity has led to a greater reliance on satellites as they communicate information more reliably without the risk of interference.

If you have an interest in learning more about satellite technology, get in touch with the Bayanat Engineering Qatar team today to find out more.

How are busy airport operations handled?

Airports are busy at the best of times, but when there’s a large event – such as the World Cup – they experience a surge in passenger traffic. To effectively handle this influx of passengers, airports employ a number of tactics.

In this article, we’re going to look at how busy airport operations are handled by airports and the techniques they employ to successfully maintain consistent turnaround times.

Data modeling and simulations

Airports are adopting various technologies to better understand how to manage busy periods in airports, such as data modelling and performing simulations. Specialist software allows airports to create realistic digital models that simulate key areas and infrastructure at airports, such as check-in areas and security clearance. These models can use actual passenger numbers to create realistic simulations that cover an end-to-end journey for passengers and estimate processing times.

These tools offer a number of benefits that can mitigate the impact of big, upcoming events. Some of the key benefits include:

• A drop in bottlenecks during the passenger journey

• Streamlining how the security process works

• Finding the most efficient locations for airport security gates

Operational analysis

One approach that airports take to handle a swell of passengers during busy periods is to plan ahead by using operational analysis. This allows airports to perform audits on their facilities and activities like ground handling operations to effectively gauge how prepared they are to handle lots of passengers. It’s also an opportunity for the airport to find areas that are lacking and require improvements, such as specific operations or communication between staff or passengers. This is a precautionary measure and is usually employed long before a big event to effectively manage large crowds and busy periods.

Modelling the passenger journey

Another way airports are harnessing modelling technology to handle busy airport operations is by modelling the passenger journey. This software looks at all of the different touchpoints for a passenger, or areas where interactions are common. This includes things like the check-in desk, security gates and bag drop-off areas. During busy times, these areas become incredibly congested so using a journey scenario modelling solution allows airports to find the best ways to establish these touchpoints. It allows airports to effectively identify and streamline things like departures, biometric scanning and baggage drop-off and pick-up.

Using the modelling approach allows airports to create scenarios which can be run and analysed. This analysis helps in a number of ways, such as:

• Helping airports better understand passenger movement problems

• Determining the right infrastructure, tools and technology to implement that will improve passenger journeys

• Providing a good baseline for passenger movements during busy times, allowing airports to prepare accordingly

• Highlight and address any security issues or vulnerabilities before the peak busy periods.

Airports have a few different approaches to handling busy times such as upcoming live events and fixtures. For the most part, technology plays a large role in ensuring passengers enjoy a safe, streamlined travel experience.

A guide to the digital apron, and what it means for airports

When improving any organization in the 21st century, data is one of the first things to consider. This is especially the case for making the most of modern airport operations. Learn more about what the “digital apron” is, how to make the most of the opportunities data has to offer and the benefits of using data in a more proactive manner.

What is the digital apron?

The digital apron is a system that makes use of new surveillance technologies, data analytics and existing airport systems as a means of ensuring the most efficient aircraft turnarounds possible. By taking all available information and collating it, airports are able to process incoming planes and clear the next flight for take-off much faster. Because of this, the digital apron plays a significant role in improving the efficiency of airports, increasing the overall capacity of the airport and boosting revenue.

The benefits of using the digital apron

There is a wide range of benefits of using a digital apron in an airport. Each of these not only ensures that the airport works more effectively but improves the passenger experience too. Just some of the benefits of an effective digital apron include:

• Faster turnarounds: Passengers get off and on their respective planes more quickly and efficiently.
• More responsive airports: Having leeway in timing means that airports have the ability to respond to volatile levels of traffic.
• Higher revenues: More efficient airports take more flights and generate more revenue, which can be invested back into the passenger experience.

As you can see, the digital apron ensures that an airport functions more efficiently, which brings a range of fringe benefits with it. This is especially important in countries anticipating significant increases in demand and is the reasoning behind Hamad International Airport’s trend towards digital services ahead of the World Cup in 2022.

Technologies supporting a digital apron

There is a selection of different airport technologies playing a key role in creating a digital apron and supporting efficiency in an airport setting. These include:

• Visual Guidance Docking Systems (VDGS): Faster docking means faster processing of airplanes.
• IoT Implementation: IoT equipment throughout terminals helps with tracking and guiding foot traffic, making passenger journeys smoother.
• Remote Control Tower: An agile remote-control tower uses runways in a more efficient manner, making the most of the space available.

Why is a digital apron important?

Previously, if an airport sought expansion, it could buy the next chunk of land over and use that for a new runway or terminal. However, increasing urbanization means that land around airports is at a premium. A digital apron gives airports the ability to increase their output without expanding their footprint. Increases in efficiency lead to increases in productivity, so airports see the gains they would make from expansion without having to make a single change to their buildings and infrastructure.

Contact Bayanat Engineering Qatar

If you’re interested in learning more about the digital apron and the systems involved, contact the Bayanat Engineering Qatar team today to learn more and create more efficient airport solutions

Body temperature scanning at airports: It’s here to stay

The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an unprecedented demand for temperature body scanners in airports. Operations managers needed high-throughput equipment that could scan travelers for potential fever without causing inconvenience or posing a safety risk.

Fortunately, infrared temperature-sensing technology already existed and there were a number of firms able to supply the market. By the time international travel began opening up again in 2021, practically every major airport had temperature scanning systems in place.

The need for scanning was considerable. Management saw it as a form of triage. Instead of trying to maintain impractical six-food gaps between everyone in airport terminals, the plan was to weed out any potentially infected passengers before they made their way inside. This way, airport screening could help protect people, even in situations where social distancing wasn’t possible (such as in airport lounges, airplane cabins, and baggage handling areas).

However, even now the pandemic is waning, airport scanners are here to stay. In this post, we explain why.

Temperature scanners in previous pandemics

Body temperature scanners have been used in airports in the past. Examples include SARS, Ebola, H1N1 influenza and some dengue fever outbreaks. Airport managers believe that it is an effective way to control the spread of infection and provide passengers with a sense of safety.

Why temperature scanners at airports are probably here to stay?

During COVID-19, temperature scanners found widespread usage. Facilities managers implemented them in schools, malls, care homes and even homeless shelters. They were particularly critical in airports. But why were they so popular?

Part of the reason was that authorities wanted an easy non-contact method for checking passengers for signs of infection. Taking swabs was time-consuming and resource-intensive, and required airports to run lab facilities on-site. By contrast, with scanners, anyone could perform temperature scans with minimal training

Scanners also worked instantly: if somebody had a fever, security could simply deny them entry to the terminal. Handheld devices increased the speed that security could let people enter the airport while fixed scanning systems can eliminate delays.

Furthermore, scanners are much better able to identify instances of fever than conventional self-reporting. Patients may not realise they are sick and infectious, even if they have a temperature.

How the airport and airline industry is adapting

Given how inexpensive and rapid temperature scanning is, it is unlikely that airlines and airports will backtrack on using it. This time around, it may be here to stay.

Airlines, for instance, may continue implementing temperature screening procedures at the gate. Here, stewards scan passengers as they make their way onto the aircraft. Those with body temperatures higher than 100.4°F would be denied entry.

Policies like these may make passengers feel safer, knowing that they are not travelling in a plane with anyone who has an active fever. It is also good for pilots and cabin crews. Aircraft operators want to avoid unscheduled sickness absence which increases their costs and can generate delays.

Conclusion

In summary, body temperature scanning at airports is a low-cost and low-friction safety technology, making it a compelling technology for managers to continue using. Since COVID-19, airports have made the necessary investments, so the likelihood that they will want to continue using their existing stock is high.

What is CNS/ATM for airspace capacity?

Communication, Navigation and Surveillance for Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) is the application of air and ground-based technologies to enhance the traffic flow through controlled airspace. With advances in satellite navigation and data link communication systems, CNS/ATM facilitates a reduction in air traffic controller workload thus maximizing traffic flow.

Communication

Traditionally, VHF radio communication has been the main medium for air-to-ground communications, however, it remains a time-consuming method of transmitting information. VHF communication reduces the number of aircraft an air traffic controller can work with and, if the controller is workload saturated, the capacity of the airspace which they are controlling is reduced.

Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) is a means of reducing radio communication by the satellite transmission of written, non-time critical, strategic messages such as climb/descend clearances, vectoring and transfers to new airspace control amongst other ATC clearances. This reduction in verbal communication vastly increases the capacity of traffic flow through a sector of airspace.

Navigation

Satellite Navigation has improved the accuracy and precision of aircraft in flight. Prior to the advances in satellite navigation, aircraft would navigate between ground stations – namely VORs (VHF Omnidirectional Range stations) and NDBs (non-directional beacons) – with the corridors between each station becoming known as Airways. Precision navigation outside of these point-to-point routes could not be guaranteed.

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as GPS have allowed for increased integrity, reliability and accuracy of navigation in not just 3, but 4 dimensions – the fourth being time, accurately forecasting aircraft flight path trajectory. Such systems enable aircraft to follow any flight path between two points in space without the need for ground navigation aids. This method is known as area navigation or RNAV.

Many countries globally now mandate a performance-based navigation (PBN) specification for aircraft operating under IFR (instrument flight rules) through their airspace. This specification prescribes the minimum requirement in terms of integrity and accuracy that an aircraft must maintain through controlled airspace. This more accurate and predictable order of navigation allows air traffic controllers to better manage and maximize air traffic flow. Certain airspaces may also mandate Required Navigation Performance (RNP) – this specification represents the same precision and accuracy as RNAV but requires on-board navigation performance monitoring and alerting systems to highlight any loss of integrity.

Surveillance

Aircraft fitted with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment are able to be tracked by satellites. This location data is relayed to air traffic control and allows controllers to accurately determine the aircraft’s position. This is advantageous because previously an aircraft’s position could only be identified by the use of secondary surveillance radar (SSR) – an expensive and high-power demanding ground-based system with limited range. ADS-B position fixes reduce the need for verbal position reports over the radio and allow controllers to apply minimum separation between aircraft with more certainty, allowing for better utilization of their airspace.

Air traffic management of the future

The pre-eminence of satellites has heralded a new era in how air traffic is managed, allowing the reduction of controller workload, increasing traffic flow and optimizing airspace to be achieved.

Contact our friendly team at Bayanat Engineering Qatar to learn more about CNS

Activating Doha Flight Information Region (FIR)

Today, on the 8th of September, the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) signed operational agreements with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE to activate the Doha Flight Information Region (FIR) and connect it with the FIRs of these countries.

Flight Information Regions, or FIRs, are airspace divisions established by international agreement. Each FIR is managed by a single air traffic control authority, which is responsible for providing navigational information and air traffic control services within its boundaries. The boundaries of FIRs are generally based on political or geographical boundaries, and they typically encompass entire countries or large portions of countries.

What are the implications of this new agreement?
The implications of this new agreement are far-reaching. Not only does it give Qatar complete control over its airspace, but it also helps to strengthen Qatar’s position as a regional leader in aviation. Over 70% of flights heading to the UAE will now pass through Qatar’s airspace.
This new agreement is a major win for Qatar and will help to solidify its place on the world stage for years to come. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits:

More accurate and up-to-date information for airlines
One of the key benefits of activating Qatar’s FIR is that it will allow the country to offer more accurate and up-to-date information to the airlines that fly into and out of Doha International Airport. In the past, some of this information has been relayed through Bahraini or Saudi airspace, which can introduce delays and inaccuracies. With Qatar’s FIR now active, this will no longer be an issue.

Improved communication and coordination with neighbours
Another benefit of activating Qatar’s FIR is that it will improve communication and coordination between Qatar and its neighbours. In particular, it will allow Qatar to coordinate more effectively with Bahraini and Saudi air traffic controllers. This improved coordination will lead to a smoother flow of traffic in the region and could potentially help to avoid delays and disruptions in the future.

Improved air travel efficiency
Activating Qatar’s FIR will also lead to improved air travel efficiency in the region. This is because Qatar will now be able to offer direct routing options for flights heading to the UAE. This will save airlines time and money, and it will make the overall travel experience better for passengers.

Improved safety in the region
Finally, activating Qatar’s FIR will also help to improve safety in the region. This is because it will allow air traffic controllers in Qatar to have a better understanding of what is happening in their airspace at any given time. Additionally, it will allow them to communicate more effectively with their counterparts in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. This improved communication will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to flight paths and other important safety information.

Overall, activating Qatar’s Flight Information Region (FIR) is good news for both Qatar and its neighbours. It will improve communication and coordination between Qatar and its neighbours, allow Qatar to offer more accurate and up-to-date information to airlines, and help improve safety in the region. All of these factors combined make the activation of the Doha FIR a positive development for all involved parties.

How airports guarantee public safety during sporting events

During tournaments and matches of all kinds, countries which host events or teams can often expect a big rise in people traveling to attend those events. This means it’s important for any quality airport to handle this rise, and make sure everyone, sports enthusiast or not, can enjoy their time.

This begins in the airport, where the building’s very design can determine if a sports fan’s trip abroad is off to a good start. There are ways that you can help with this, such as by modifying the airport’s layout – allowing you to safely handle a sharp increase in passengers.

1. Strong Aeronautical Information Systems (AIS)

Passenger numbers spike incredibly during major sporting events, and this might mean high congestion across the terminals and overall building. To account for this, airports are able to know in advance when to expect an influx of passengers – and Aeronautical Information Systems are a core part of this. With good communication, airports can prepare and accommodate high numbers of passengers, ensuring a swift arrival where everybody gets where they need to be, and the correct number of terminals are open.

2. Passenger tracking and people counting

One way of handling airport congestion during sporting events is to make use of passenger tracking and people counting systems. These accurate sensors help staff monitor foot traffic in real time and take steps that reduce delays. This also gives staff and security a way of keeping watch for suspicious activities; meaning if they notice anything is amiss, they can quickly investigate the issue and potentially deal with any trouble-makers. As sports events are quite social, the risk of intoxicated passengers is ever-present.

3. Queue management

Along similar lines, it’s easy for queues to emerge when there’s a high number of passengers. Airports may use queue management systems to deal with this, as congested queues could lead to overcrowding – or rowdiness from some passengers. The best way to ensure a safe environment when queuing is to make sure everybody is happy, such as by ensuring they don’t have to wait for long. Queue management involves actively changing the queue layout in response to high traffic, opening new routes and terminals where appropriate.

4. Human body temperature scanners

Many countries across the world work to reduce the international spread of coronavirus by restricting entry to the country. This can include requesting a negative test from within the past few days, or it might even involve checking the passenger’s temperature. Human body temperature scanners can detect if somebody has a fever, whereupon airport staff can ask them to do a new COVID-19 test. A passenger may test negative at first, only for the virus to develop by the time they reach the country.

At Bayanat Engineering Qatar, there are many ways we can help you safely monitor the increase of people during sporting events. Much of this involves controlling the flow of people by managing queues and keeping track of passengers throughout the airport, but working to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is another aspect of this.