The social distancing airport - 4 ways to deliver safety with digital signage at airports

Monday, July 27, 2020 by NDS

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed – perhaps for good – how people travel. 2020 has been one of the most difficult years on record for many of us. As people begin to travel again, for business and pleasure, it is up to airports and airlines to ensure their safety. The threat of COVID-19 will remain until there are no cases left or a significant portion of the global population is vaccinated. Until then, it is crucial to establish strict standards of safety, social distancing, and preparedness in airports across the globe.

 Digital signage – delivered on platforms like PADS4 – offers the ideal medium to do so, with tools to inform passengers of regulations and safety measures, prevent exposing passengers or staff to unnecessary risks, detect policy breaches and alarming conditions, and react with real-time updates.

Inform passengers and staff 

As people begin to crowd airports, it will become more critical to implement digital signage offering real-time information and updates. Airports face numerous challenges in that communication must: 

  • Be multilingual
  • Update to reflect safety standard required by specific airlines
  • Offer real-time queue and flight information to prevent crowding 
  • Update passengers in real-time to share available spaces, to redirect passengers around crowds, or to alert passengers to offboarding passengers from a plane 
  • Track crowds in individual spaces including duty-free shops and eateries 


PADS4 offers this and more, with a digital signage platform that directly connects to your Flight Information Display System (FIDS) or Airport Operational Database (AODB), plus motion sensors, to offer real-time flight information, queue management information, and traffic management. Displays can cycle between flight information, COVID-19 safety protocols for social distancing and handwashing, and live traffic and queue line length times so passengers stay informed. 

Prevent unnecessary risks 

Digital signage offers an easy way to instantly alert passengers when, where, and how to move to prevent risks. PADS4 links data from motion sensors and cameras to automated context-driven rules. This means displays can automatically update to: 

  • Ask passengers to wait when rooms or stores are crowded
  • Manage boarding processes with real-time updates to keep passengers safe 
  • Remind passengers to wear masks when necessary 
  • Alert passengers of hand-washing or sanitizing protocols at trash and bathroom areas
  • Remind passengers of digital and paperless boarding or self-check-in options to reduce contact and risks
  • Alert passengers when room or elevator capacity is too high 
  • Offer local control to airports, shops, and eateries to share capacity in real-time, share organization safety regulations, and keep passengers informed of security processes, health checks, and tests. 

PADS4 also links to booking tools and menus, so passengers can book lounge areas, pre-order food, or book flights or baggage to reduce contact with staff, should your airport offer touchscreens or self-help kiosks.

Detect policy breaches 

Masks, temperature checks, and maximum crowd density are just a few of the most common COVID-19 safety policies in place in most airports. Most of these can be automatically detected using technology like IP cameras and sensors like thermal cameras, combined with algorithms, to keep staff and security aware of safety and to generate compliance and reporting. 

PADS4 allows you to push data like heat maps, mask recognition, and crowd density right to security operations centers and to digital displays across the airport, so the right people can react as quickly as possible.

React and resolve breaches

Immediately respond to policy breaches and problems with real-time updates pushed across the airport. PADS4 can automatically display warnings and reminders to passengers when crowd density is too high, people aren’t wearing masks, or individuals are flagged with elevated skin temperature. PADS4 also integrates with desktops and other devices to automatically push updates to key people, so security can stay on top of situations, without increasing their own risk. 

People will always travel, it’s up to us to keep them safe. We’re here to help. It’s easier than ever to keep people informed, with the PADS4 Platform to share real-time updates from many AODB data sources such as CGI - Go, Siemens, AviaVox, SITA and more across your digital displays. With PADS4 you create a safer airport in the New Normal. 

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