Saturday, May 26, 2018

Lohegaon airport’s new food dispenser gets robotic touch


PUNE: Across all Airports Authority of India (AAI) facilities in the country, the Lohegaon airport started a robot-assisted food dispensing machine and outlet for passengers. “The state-of-the-art machine will enhance the customer experience,” said Pune Airport director Ajay Kumar.

Apart from the food dispensing machine, the solar power plant at the airport, which was delayed by nearly three weeks, was also inaugurated. Officials stated that the plant is capable of generating 300KW of power.

“AAI’s regional executive director Keshav Sharma inaugurated the food dispensing machine. He also inaugurated the solar power plant at the airport. Food sourced from different city outlets will be available at the outlet. It is a modern machine that dispenses food once the customer makes a selection on an iPad connected to it and pays the amount through a debit/credit card or cash. A robotic arm delivers the food after heating it in the microwave oven,” Kumar said.

Much has been said about the quality of food being served at some outlets located at the airport. There have been frequent complaints from passengers about the substandard quality and price of the food. However, officials said that proper care was being taken. “Any complaint is investigated and due action is initiated. The quality of food is very important and we cannot compromise on the same,” another airport official added.

The solar power plant will save considerable energy, say officials. In March this year, 2,600 light-emitting diode (LED) lights were installed at the airport, which resulted in the load decreasing from 192KW to 80KW.

“The solar power plant has started and this will further decrease the load. Solar panels have been set up at the airport’s hangar. The cost of the project is Rs 1.27 crore. All electric equipment, like the lighting of the terminal building, baggage belts, will run on solar power. However, regular electricity option will be available as back up,” another official pointed out.

According to sources, in the future, the power generation capacity of the plant would be increased. “The new terminal building is coming up and we plan to use the same source to light it. This means that the energy generation capacity of the solar power plant will be increased,” an official shared.


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