With the occurring of the Covid-19 pandemic, the aviation industry is highly affected. Air travel has changed forever. Although this is difficult times, the aviation industry should navigate the crisis. But how could they manage it? With real-time flow management aviation industry can deal with COVID-19 effectively.
How does technology help against COVID-19 in airports?
In our previous blog-post, we examined how the coronavirus affected the aviation industry and the dramatic decrease in airline traffic.
Airports and airlines have taken many measures against Covid-19. The epidemic that emerged suddenly made the control and continuity of the measures taken difficult. With the rapid transformation of technology, there have been too many technologies used in these measures. Thermal imaging cameras to detect and measure the body temperature of passengers, baggage management systems, facial recognition technology, biometrics, self-check-in self-baggage drop, robotics, and many other technology solutions are some of them.
At the same time, there are many different technologies such as UV luggage cleaning on security checks at the entrances, the disinfection of trays by UV sanitization. Also, escalators are cleaning by UV sanitization.
HEPA filters have emerged as a result of the customization of filter systems for cleaning the air in airplanes.
At the same time, by providing self-baggage opportunities, the physical contact of the passengers was reduced, and possible contamination was prevented.
With the maintenance of social distance, it became essential to control the distance between the passengers and to protect the footfall limitation in certain areas. Therefore, real-time flow management firstly calculates the number of people in specific areas at airports and ensure that social distance is maintained by checking the limitation in certain regions. Distance control with artificial intelligence-based cameras is of great importance in keeping the queue that occurs during security checks and boarding under control at airports.
Well, if we examine the passenger’s airport journey step by step, let’s see how to provide social distance and how to ensure safety in the field of health with real-time flow management.
Security Checks Queue Management
Security checks are essential for ensuring security at airports. In these areas, a queue occurs as a result of passengers spending time while placing their belongings on the belt. During this queue, passengers should be taken to the area in a controlled manner to maintain social distance. Although it seems like an option to have these queue management done manually by the personnel, performing these controls with artificial intelligence-based cameras in an automated system both increases efficiency and provides sustainable solutions by providing more accurate results.
In artificial intelligence-based cameras, the area that is required to have the queue of security check is determined. Then the number of people who can stand in the area is automatically calculated by the system according to the square meter of the area. The system, which also pays attention to the preservation of social distance between visitors in the area, informs through the app in case of violations or warns via the airport announcement system. In this way, it is ensured that social distance is maintained.
Self Check-in Areas / Counters Occupany Management
The visitor can perform the check-in process by himself or by the staff. In both, the number of people in the check-in area should be checked. Every area’s occupancy control should be done correctly. Using the counter rows with one-row spacing increases the social distance, and it is very critical to make sure that the number of people in the counter rows is under the limit and the distance between the passengers is kept. The controls to be made with cameras in these areas should be shown to the passengers with an informative screen and make sure that they also comply with this rule. This measure will also contribute to the recovery of the aviation industry in the post-corona period by making the passenger feel safe.
Restaurants / Duty-free Occupancy Management
Although the food and shopping areas at the airports were closed with the first appearance of COVID-19, they were gradually opened with the reactivation of airline transportation. Maintaining social distance becomes more important in restaurants and shopping centers, which have a significant place in customer experience. To ensure that social distance is maintained as a result of removing the mask in the dining areas, the spaces between the tables should be increased. The restaurant capacities should be reduced, and service should be provided in a safer environment. In addition to revealing whether the tables are full with camera-based data, the service time of the customers will be calculated, allowing customers to make reservations at restaurants.
It is ensured that the customer capacity of the store is not exceeded by controlling the entrance and exit of customers in duty shops and shopping areas with cameras. At the same time, these data are shared with customers so that they feel safe while entering the store. If there is an over-limit situation, they are not allowed to enter the store.
At the same time, the demand for online browsing and pre-ordering of products from duty-free/travel retail stores at airports may increase. Digital inflight shopping channels supported by onboard Wi-Fi may well catch on much more quickly than previously anticipated. At departure, customers easily collect the products from online pick up in-store points.
Restrooms / Baby Care Rooms Occupancy Management and Cleaning Operations
Restroom cleaning, which is very important in standard times, has become even more critical with the coronavirus epidemic. Keeping the crowd that will occur in the restrooms under control is essential for maintaining social distance. With real-time flow management, you can achieve significant and precise results for both. With the cameras placed to the toilet entrances, questions such as “How many people are in the toilet, is it suitable for entering, is the person limit exceeded”, is answered with footfall count in the toilet.
A small screen to be added to the toilet entrances or a visual warning system ensures that passengers can use the toilet safely. This precaution will give confidence to customers and accelerate the recovery of the aviation industry.
At the same time, it ensures that manually and hourly toilet cleaning is going to be processed depending on how many people use the toilet. At this point, a specific limit is determined, and when this limit is reached, the cleaning operation is done. It makes the process more efficient, and the personnel can be evaluated in different jobs.
According to the new regulations, baby care rooms must be cleaned and disinfected after each use. If the cleaning process is not carried out according to the new regulations, the airport may face high penalties. The time-based repeated cleaning process is very laborious and slow. Instead, passenger after use of the baby care room is detected and reported to the airport officers instantly through the system. Then the baby care room is cleaned in this way.
Prayer Rooms Occupancy Management
Masjid and prayer rooms are places where the possibility of contamination is high because they are closed environments, and many people use them at the same time. In particular, the disinfection of the prayer area in mosques and covering with a protective cover during worship stand out as existing measures.
In addition to these measures, it should be ensured that the number of people in the mosque is measured and that the correct ratio of people is entered into the area. It can be done very accurately and precisely using ” real-time flow management “. At the same time, warning signs can be placed to inform passengers so that it ensured the time spent in the area is below a specific value.
Cleaning Operations Management: Know your hand sanitizer dispensers’ run out time.
With the increase in cleaning at airports, hand sanitizer dispensers are provided to passengers at specific points. It makes passengers feel safe. The number of these disinfectant points can be huge at large airports. Disinfectants should be filled at regular intervals. However, since the sanitizers at all locations don’t run out at the same time, the refilling process is inefficient and slow. Since each disinfectant has a specific capacity, the number of people using disinfectants is counted with artificial intelligence-based cameras, and a notification is sent to the airport management to fill the disinfectants under a particular value. The disinfectants must always be full for the passenger to feel safe. At the same time, it can be ensured that the staff works more efficiently by preventing the continuous control of disinfectants.
Announcements Frequency Management
It is crucial to remind passengers of the social distance rule constantly. However, if this reminder is too much, passengers may be disturbed by the situation. Distance control is made with artificial intelligence-based cameras, and announcements are made to maintain social distance when necessary, which will maximize the passenger’s experience.
Mask Control with Real-Time Flow Management
Using a face mask is one of the effective measures to reduce contamination. Experts state that the possibility of contamination will decrease by 90% if a face mask is used. For this reason, it should be ensured that all passengers and personnel at airports wear their masks correctly. Making these warnings through the personnel is both ineffective and may cause misunderstanding of passengers. Thanks to real-time flow management, passengers’ mask status can be checked, and the airport management can be informed or warned when necessary.
Passenger Boarding Bridges Occupancy Management
Even in cases where necessary social distancing procedures are applied at airports, the passengers’ last experience before entering the plane can turn into a bad memory. The passenger sitting comfortably in the air-conditioned environment will be exposed to the risk of contamination due to the lack of social distance in the case of taking more passengers to the boarding bridge. Also, it fells passengers uncomfortable due to warmer temperatures than inside of the airport’s air-conditioned environment. It is critical to count the people in the boarding bridges and to take the passengers on the plane according to their seat numbers as a result of this counting to maintain social distance. With smart cameras, the passenger number in boarding bridges can be measured effectively, and processes can be automized.
Real-Time Flow Management to Help Recovery of Aviation
It is a fact that the aviation industry has had a hard time due to the occurring of coronavirus. However, it is also possible to handle these challenging times and become even stronger than before with the help of technology. It is also possible to transform the aviation industry with real-time flow management, which has contributed to airports in many areas, such as marketing and operations.
You can contact us for more information in the field of real-time flow management.
In our next article, we will examine how real-time flow management provides benefits to airports in the fields of marketing, operations, and project management.
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