Malaysia Airports to come out of Covid-19 stronger with systems upgrade

New technologies to enhance Malaysia's airports security include facial recognition. Photo: Free Malaysia Today. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

PETALING JAYA, May 9, 2020, FMT. Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) has completed a major upgrade of its core network which will enable the airport community to leverage on state-of-the-art technologies, Free Malaysia Today reported.

Taking advantage of the global and domestic travel restrictions, MAHB was able to work around the clock to complete this entire migration in four months, allowing the airport operator to speed up its digital transformation which began before the Covid-19 pandemic.

MAHB group CEO Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said with the systems upgrade, KUL, which comprises KLIA and klia2, was now compatible with cutting edge technologies, including 5G, Wifi6 and Internet of Things (IoT).

“Our upgraded network will have, at the very minimum, 10 times the capacity compared with the previous legacy network system,” he said.

Mohd Shukrie said the upgrade allowed for greater process automation, increased contactless self-service, as well as the introduction of robotics and biometrics technology at the airport.

He said Covid-19 presented a new reality – one that was always going to happen in the passenger’s journey – and there would now be a stronger demand for measures, such as those being introduced, to ensure passenger safety during pandemics.

Malaysia Airports, he said, was transforming its airports into smart airports that offered passengers a more personalised experience by leveraging on technology to remove inconveniences caused by an airport’s physical limitations.

New technologies to enhance airport security include facial recognition.

“Imagine, no longer having to wait in line for a long time and to comply with complicated procedures,” he said.

Mohd Shukrie said the network upgrade would also help prevent a recurrence of last year’s network glitch which disrupted systems leading to flight delays and long queues at KUL.

“To put it simply, the new core network architecture provides us with multiple fail-safe mechanisms which will prevent disruptions to our services,”

He said the network upgrade would allow MAHB to go full steam ahead with other infrastructure enhancements and capacity developments to realise its Airports 4.0 initiative, once the Covid-19 pandemic was over.

The Airports 4.0 initiative sees MAHB investing heavily in new technologies to enhance airport security, including facial recognition and real-time information sharing over the next few years.

This includes the Single Token Facial Recognition system, which essentially does away with manual checks on passenger details at the airport.

Another vital component of the Airports 4.0 initiative is the Airport Collaborative Decision-Making System which uses big data analytics to allow for better planning and deployment of resources at the airport among all stakeholders, including MAHB staff, airlines and the authorities.

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