Hamad International Airport installs biometric kiosks for Qatar travellers

Officials at Hamad International Airport announced they have implemented five new self-service machines that can scan the eyes and fingerprints of Qatar residents “in less than a minute”, according to a report by DOHA News.

Available in both the arrivals and departures section, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) biometric kiosks will help all travelers who are having e-gate issues when entering or leaving Qatar.

There will also be technicians on hand to assist travelers in registering their biometric data, airport officials said.

Prior to the MOI installation, Qatar expats needed to pre-register for the automated e-gate service at the immigration department in Madinat Khalifa, a process in which they would have to pay a fee and log their biometric data.

However, airport officials made the e-gate free and available last month to all foreign residents ages 18 and over, and invited anyone to use the service without registering.

Now any travelers can simply scan their passport or Qatar ID card — regardless of whether it contains a microchip — at an e-gate counter.

Unfortunately, some travelers have recently encountered some problems in navigating the automated service.

“A passenger has to place the ID card on the e-reader at the e-gate, which will read the biometric data stored on the card and verify them,“ said Major Khalid Muhammed al-Mulla, director of the Airport Passports Department. “The first glass barrier will open if he has got the leave notification (exit permit) as well.

“At the next part of the e-gate, the machine will match the data obtained from the travel document and the scan of the eye and fingerprint. If the data matches, the device will open the final gate, enabling the passenger to move either to the boarding gate or baggage collection area (as the case may be).”

He also added that the airport plans to increase the number of e-Gates to 35 in both the lounges in the next phase.

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