New passenger tracking system at Delhi Airport for enhanced social distancing protocol

12 February 2021

COVID-19 pandemic, which has wreaked havoc in the world, has come as a blessing in disguise for the aviation sector. The commercial flight operations remained shut for about two-months due to lockdown. When it resumed the sector witnessed use of many new and innovative technology to make the flying safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus among passengers.

As part of its effort to provide a healthy and safe environment to the flyers, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a GMR Group-led consortium, introduced a new passenger tracking system that offers real-time insights on every process point for an improved passenger flow management at Delhi Airport.

Installed at Terminal 3, the system known as XOVIS PTS, would help airport officials in reducing waiting time for passenger at a process point, enhance operational efficiency and manage passenger flow to ensure social distancing is maintained at various passenger touch point areas of the airport.

The queue management system provides live waiting time to passengers on display screens installed at various places like check-in hall, arrival pier junction, security check areas, immigration, etc. inside the terminal.

The move has come at the backdrop of COVID-19 outbreak to enhance social distancing at various passenger touch point areas of the airport.

DIAL has installed over 500 sensors at all eight departure entry gates of Terminal 3, all check-in rows, domestic and international security check areas, emigrations in Departure level. While in Arrival level, sensors have been installed at Immigrations area for domestic-to-international transfer area of Delhi Airport.

Based on images, computed directly by the ceiling-mounted sensors, passengers (seen as a dot on the mobile and other screens) are counted and tracked anonymously. The system receives data streams from the sensors and provides airport operators with valuable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as waiting time, process time and passenger throughput etc.

The KPIs are visualized on an intuitive dashboard, enabling airports to quickly identify crowded areas and bottlenecks. The system's intuitive and comprehensive user interface offers real-time insights on every process point for improved passenger flow management.

The system generates auto-alerts and prompts airport officials to act swiftly as soon as it identifies any crowded area at the terminal. If the situation is not brought under control within a stipulated time, it again issues alerts to higher management.

The airport has been adhering to all protocols mandated by the government after commercial flight operations resumed on May 25, 2020.

Since then, DIAL left no stone unturned in providing a safe and hygienic environment at the airport.

To monitor compliance of social distancing norms at the airport, DIAL has deployed additional queue managers at kerb side (city side), check-in halls, security check areas and boarding gates.

To make social distancing more effective among passengers, the floors of the airport were marked with visually impactful coloured tape, whereas signage of maintaining gap was placed on alternate chairs.

In order to avoid crowd at the counters, passengers are being encouraged to check-in at home or use self-service facilities such as self-check-in facility, self-bag tag facility, scan & fly, etc. Passengers are also encouraged to download HOI app, a dedicated AI-enabled app for contact-less food ordering service. Besides, self-ordering kiosks are available at the food court to avoid queuing of the passengers. Digital menu and online payment are being encouraged to minimize human contact at the airport.