AIS turning U-tapao into ‘smart airport’ with face-recognition tech
U-tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport is being upgraded with the addition of a “smart” passenger terminal powered by 5G technology.
The construction of Terminal 3 is being conducted in collaboration with Thailand’s largest mobile services operator, Advanced Info Service (AIS).
AIS senior executive Saran Phaloprakarn said the goal was to turn U-Tapao, which is run by the Royal Thai Navy, into a modern commercial airport.
U-Tapao will become the third commercial airport serving Bangkok after Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang. A high-speed train route will link all three airports and the Eastern Economic Corridor development zone.
Currently, U-Tapao serves mainly foreign tourists visiting the resort city of Pattaya on the eastern seaboard.
AIS signed a memorandum of understanding with the airport on August 10, extending their collaboration on digital tech adoption.
Saran said the MOU allows AIS to work on 5G “use cases” at the airport for three more years, in time for the opening of Terminal 3.
Digitalisation at U-Tapao began in 2018 and was upgraded to 5G after AIS launched fifth-generation technology for broadband cellular networks in Thailand two years ago.
Saran said the U-Tapao’s 5G tech will be used to analyse video from closed-circuit cameras for increased safety, relying on artificial intelligence, big data and face-recognition technologies.
AIS is providing the 5G services at U-Tapao free of charge as it is trialling the technology at the airport.
Saran said results from the study may also be used to expand AIS’s business at the airport in future, including the sale of SIMs to tourists.
The smart tech would also help keep passenger queues short, he added. “5G and AI can help you predict the concentration of passengers at the airport,” he said.