DOHA: Summer vacationers returning to Qatar will be screened in the shortest time possible, thanks to the latest passport screening devices installed at Hamad International Airport.
There has been an increase in passenger traffic and preparations have been made to ensure smooth entry of travellers, said Lt Col Mohammed Rashid Al Mazroue, Director, Passports Department, at the airport.
“We are completing their entry procedures electronically through an eGate or physically and immigration staff verify passports and visas as well as take eye scan.”
He said the airport is equipped with the latest electronic devices that facilitate travellers to go through immigration counters after taking their fingerprints and eye scan and reading travel documents.
Lt Col Al Mazroue urged travellers — arriving or departing — to avail eGate services to save time.
He said there are staff monitoring procedures on a large screen and helping in case passengers have any problems.
He said the Airport Lounge is designed to accommodate over 6,000 passengers per hour and there are 60 counters serving different categories of travellers, with customised ones for families in addition to 16 eGates.
In case several planes land at the same time, officials guide passengers to go to counters which are less crowded and complete immigration procedures for about 2,580 passengers in an hour.
Nasser Abdul Karim Al Hamidi, head of the passports section at the airport, said the airport staff was working 24 hours in four shifts, each shift having 136 employees to facilitate quick processing of travellers. He said that checking of a passport lasts only 25-35 seconds for an expatriate and only 10 seconds for a GCC citizen or a Qatari.
Hamad International Airport has handled 2.365 million passengers since its opening and 34,000 passengers go through the counters every day.
Al Mazroue said that the airport had a new passport screening device, the best in the world, and once an immigration officer queried any passport it was sent to this device and verified. He said the device can check the passport for any manipulation or fraud and misrepresentation in the data or photo.