Abu Dhabi International Airport in the UAE has started trialling a new system driven by artificial intelligence (AI) in a bid to optimise various processes and facilitate social distancing at the airport.

According to Emirates News Agency, the new enhanced ‘Smart Travel’ system is developed by Abu Dhabi Airports and ConvergentAI to streamline various airport processes, such as check-in operations and passenger arrival and departure times, among others.

Under the ongoing trial, select passengers travelling with Etihad Airways will be notified about the optimal time to arrive at the airport.

The step is expected to minimise queuing and ensure social distancing at the airport.

Abu Dhabi Airports CEO Shareef Al Hashmi was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Innovation and digitalisation are key to the achievement of our vision of becoming the world’s leading airports group, and I am proud of the exceptional work our teams have performed over the past year as we transform our operations and strive to deliver a truly superior and seamless passenger experience.

“The enhancement of Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Smart Travel system is a significant step in our journey of continuous improvement and innovation as we shape the future airport experience.”

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The airport is also exploring the use of AI technology for other operations, such as to expedite the unloading of luggage and refuelling of an aircraft.

It also intends to expand the use of this next generation technology to bolster safety and security systems.

Earlier this year, Abu Dhabi Airports partnered with Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) to train 17,000 employees for the new Midfield Airport Terminal at the airport.