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Smart tech to help lessen travel woes during festive season

By Wang Ying (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2019-01-22

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A passenger undergoes facial configuration security check at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on Jan 21. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/chinadaily.com.cn]

Smart technologies applied at Shanghai's two airports are expected to alleviate crowd problems during the 40-day travel rush that will take place when the annual Spring Festival season kicks off on Monday.

New automated self-verification channels which rely on facial recognition have been added to the Hongqiao International Airport's security check area. These machines will allow the verification process to be twice as efficient, said Sheng Jian, an official from Hongqiao airport's security protection division.

According to the official, a total of 18 self-verification channels will be made operational at the Hongqiao airport.

"The self-check-in and facial configuration capabilities will greatly reduce passengers' queuing times at the security check areas," said Zhu Xiaoyi, an official from Pudong International Airport's mechanical and electrical information protection division. "An average of 52,000 people are currently undergoing facial configuration security checks on a daily basis."

A total of 36 self baggage drop counters are being used in two terminals of Hongqiao airport, allowing travelers to check in their luggage themselves. Over at Pudong International Airport, there are 186 self-check-in devices and 14 self-baggage-drop counters.

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A passenger selects products at an unmanned convenience store at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on Jan 21. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/chinadaily.com.cn]

The nation's first unmanned convenience store in an airport is also serving passengers at Terminal Two of Hongqiao airport from 7 am till 9 pm every day. Customers need to just scan a QR code at the door to enter the 60-square-meter store.

There is no physical payment procedure involved. Customers can simply walk out of the store with their items as billing takes place automatically once they exit the premises.

"Since the launch of the store at the beginning of December, we've received between 300 and 400 transactions every day, and we now are looking to open more stores in airports across the nation," said Wu Wenyao, vice-president of the Cloud Pick unmanned convenience store.

The 2019 Spring Festival travel rush starts from Monday until March 1. During this period, about 56,000 aircraft take-offs and landings will take place at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, and 30,000 at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. The two airports are expected to receive about 13.25 million passenger trips in total.

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