Kempegowda International Airport to become India’s first Aadhaar-enabled airport by December 2018

Kempegowda International Airport to become India’s first Aadhaar-enabled airport by December 2018

The airport plan to complete the project ‘Aadhaar-enabled entry and biometric boarding system’ by December 31, 2018.

An Aadhaar-enabled entry system is likely to be put in place at the Bengaluru airport which will help reduce the time taken for screening passengers, according to aerodrome operator BIAL. Embarking on an ambitious project, the Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) has sought proposals for having ‘Aadhaar enabled entry and biometric boarding system’.

The BIAL’s move comes at a time when the civil aviation ministry is working on ‘Digiyatra’, an initiative that aims to enable paperless travel by way of using biometric systems for entering airports and boarding flights. A public private consortium, BIAL operates the Kempegowda International Airport.

As per the Request for Proposal (RFP), the airport would put in place a backbone infrastructure and software solution along with E-gates with passport and QR (Quick Response) code readers. The plan is to complete the project ‘Aadhaar enabled entry and biometric boarding system’ by December 31, 2018.

The rollout is planned in three different phases, with the Aadhaar system expected to go live by March 30, 2018 for three domestic carriers – Jet Airways, SpiceJet and AirAsia India. According to the RFP, all domestic flights would be covered by October while the facility would be extended to international flights by December next year.

A system is being envisaged wherein a passenger provides his Aadhaar number at the time of booking the ticket and gains entry into the airport after producing the e-ticket as well as presenting biometrics in the form of a “finger/iris/face scan”. At the next three check points – pre-security area, passenger screening and boarding gates – the e-ticket is scanned each time to gain entry before boarding the flight, the RFP said.

“The Aadhaar-based process enables a passenger to be verified in under 5 seconds at every check point right up to the boarding gate, completing the screening process in 10 minutes compared with average time of 25 minutes. “This will also help more passengers enter through the same gate,” a BIAL spokesperson said.

In February this year, Bengaluru airport had initiated a pilot project for Aadhaar-based entry of passengers. Earlier this year, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had said air travellers might be required to provide a unique identification like an Aadhaar card, passport or PAN at the time of booking tickets. Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy was a fundamental one. The judgement was limited to the issue of right to privacy and the question whether Aadhaar violates the right to privacy will be dealt with by a three-judge bench from November.

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