As the number of Covid cases are gradually coming down throughout the nation and the states are relaxing lock down rules, GMR led Hyderabad International Airport has geared up in its fight against the pandemic to give a safe and seamless passenger experience.
Hyderabad International Airport is taking stringent measures to comply with Covid protocols like wearing of masks, social distancing norms etc. to ensure zero laxity and make air travel the safest mode in these turbulent times. Awareness signage are displayed across various locations of the airport on precautions and sanitization methods that everyone needs to take about Covid. Visually impactful information is displayed at various locations as per the directives of the Ministry of Civil Aviation to guide the passengers regarding Covid measures and processes.
In order to avoid close contact and crowding at the counters, passengers are encouraged to check-in at home or use self-service facilities such as self-check-in facility, self-bag tag facility, etc. The airport has deployed self-check-in kiosks, as per social-distancing norms across the airport forecourt area and at check-in halls for a contact-less boarding experience. These -check-in kiosks are enabled with a touch-less technology which is QR code friendly and helps in the completion of the check-in process, print out of boarding card and baggage tags for bag drop in no time.
GHIAL has taken a slew of measures with focus on a seamlessly contact-less boarding experience for passengers including some stringent safety measures viz. thermal scanning of every departing passenger, the availability of automatic hand sanitizer dispensers at various places, placing floor markers, staggered seating arrangements, remote information desk where passengers queries will be answered without physical presence, allocation of entry gates and check-in islands for departure passengers to encourage compliance of social distancing norms and minimize human contact at the airport.
Regular sanitization of high contact surfaces, such as desks, chairs, elevators, railings, CUSS, trolleys, handles, trays, baggage belts, etc. inside the terminal is being carried out. Sensor based automatic hand sanitizer dispensing machines are strategically placed across the terminal building for use by passengers and airport staff.
For the safety of passengers and staff, trolleys and baggage trays are being disinfected after each use. Similarly, each security screening hand baggage tray moves through a disinfection tunnel before arriving at the collection point for use by passengers, ensuring sanitized, un-touched trays are available to every passenger for their use.
GHIAL is the only airport in the country that already has an advantage of paperless e-boarding facility for all domestic travelers. This robust contact-less boarding is a safe mode of airport travel for passengers. The innovative end-to-end E-boarding process has triggered a paradigm shift in air passenger handling process in the country. The E-boarding solution is quite unique as it fully eliminates the need to manual stamping of boarding cards. Further, it covers end-to-end all the key passenger processes at the airport viz. starting from entry to terminal and including check-in, security check, boarding gate and finally the boarding bridge check before entering the aircraft.
The passengers can take advantage of Hyderabad Airport’s unique paperless E-boarding system to travel using electronic boarding passes stored on their mobile phones. All boarding gates have contact-less E-boarding gates with boarding card scanners, which will help the passengers to just flash their boarding cards to verify flight details and once done, they can proceed to board the aircraft. This E-boarding facility is now being extended to international travelers also. Air India, IndiGo, Vistara, SpiceJet, Emirates and GoAir are some of the airlines which have started using E-boarding for international passengers. Shortly all other airlines will also migrate to the e-boarding solution in a phased manner.
GMR led Hyderabad International Airport has been consistently exploring and working towards new and innovative ways to transform the airport services into a safe and secured contact-less travel experience for passengers. In line with this, the airport has successfully converted all the elevators in the airport from traditional push-button controls to a safer touch-less alternative, heightening passenger safety. The airport has developed this ingenious solution, which is based on Infrared technology. The sensor can detect interaction from a distance of 0.1-10 cm from the button surface to enable users to make their selection with absolutely zero physical contact.
Continuous announcements are being made in three (English, Telugu and Hindi) languages in the terminal as well as landside asking passengers and staff to ensure masks are properly worn and to ensure social distance. The RAXA staff at the airport constantly address everyone on the landside with portable mikes. A special task force has also been constituted for the strict adherence of the same.
Surveillance teams with the help of the Telangana state police are also assisting the airport officials on the adherence to Covid protocols. Random checks are conducted to ensure compliance and penalties are imposed on violators. In addition to this, 20 officials of GHIAL were appointed as Special Police Officers (SPOs) to safeguard and help in the enforcement of Covid-19 safety guidelines. These special officers have the authority to impose penalty on passengers, visitors and staff who do not follow the Covid-19 safety guidelines within the airport premises.
GHIAL has created a sanitized environment in the Food Courts, F&B outlets, Lounges, and Retail Shops to encourage social distancing and other precautions. Digital payments options that also include options of mobile wallets are in place at all outlets. Social distance markings in the food courts for seating to ensure safety are in place.
To enhance passenger experience, while ensuring safety and compliance of mandatory protocols, GMR’s two leading airports in Delhi and Hyderabad have come up with a first of its kind contact less food ordering solution at the airports. In line with the Government of India’s Digital India vision, Delhi and Hyderabad airports have partnered with HOI, a cognitive and intuitive travel app that helps the travelers navigate the airport seamlessly. Contact-less food ordering and payment service is one of the unique features of HOI app. Passengers can avail this facility by simply downloading the app on their Android or iOS device, sign-up and add their upcoming flight’s travel details.
GHIAL is also taking part in a pilot project to improve the operational efficiency at the airport with a queue management solution. The various video analytics offerings by this project will enhance compliance and airport security further. This unique queue management system will ensure safe and seamless travel which is crucial in the present pandemic times. An advanced camera based Video Analytics solution constantly monitors various key parameters such as peak passenger waiting time and helps in monitoring social distance.
With RT-PCR report becoming mandatory for International travel, the Hyderabad International Airport has partnered with Mapmygenome, an ICMR and NABL certified lab for Covid Testing. Passengers can avail of the test at the immigration level or the forecourt of Interim International Departures Terminal. Results will be available via email and WhatsApp. A hardcopy of the report will also be available. A lounge has been created at the western extended plate of arrivals for the passengers who wait to collect their report. This lab is also accessible to anyone who want to avail a RT-PCR test and works round the clock.
The GMR spokesperson said, “In line with the Government of India’s mandatory Covid Protocols, Hyderabad International Airport is taking rigorous measures to ensure passenger safety. While the airport is geared up with all safety norms in place, we request all passengers to extend their cooperation and support in adherence to correct usage of face masks, maintaining social distancing and to comply with all the necessary Covid related travel documents. GHIAL will continue to do its best to provide a safe and healthy environment for passengers when they travel through our airport”.