Soon, ‘express check-in’ to replace boarding pass system at Indian airports

After doing away with hand baggage tags at over a dozen airports, aviation security agencies are now planning to dump the boarding pass collection system and begin a regime of ‘express check-in’ aided by biometrics for smooth air travel in India.

The chief of the country’s airport security force–the CISF–told news agency PTI in an interview that they have begun “exploring” the technology that is required to usher in the boarding card-less system of air travel at the 59 airports that it guards at present and at the rest of such civil facilities that are going to come under its umbrella as part of a “unified command” in the future.

“We are working on two projects. The first is how to introduce integrated security solutions at airports. You need to connect all dots that exist within the security establishment. You have so many strategies to do it…you have the biometrics, video analytics and a very robust access control system. “We will try to interconnect all these things in a very integrated fashion,” CISF Director General O P Singh told the news agency.

The DG, an IPS officer of the 1983 batch, said doing away with the boarding card system is part of this process and project and a recent initiative launched at the Hyderabad airport for ‘express check-in’ of passengers is an example in that direction. “We may do away with boarding cards too. But, that depends on how strong I become (with regard to technology-based security systems). The Hyderabad airport is the only airport in the country that is totally biometric. We are trying to explore this system for all airports,” he said.

The DG said the launch of the new system at the Hyderabad airport is for “every” stakeholder in the airport security to see and that it was a “shining example” when it comes to bringing in smart systems and take new steps to ensure smooth and hassle-free movement of passengers at airports.

As part of the system unveiled at the Hyderabad airport recently, domestic passengers after printing a boarding pass from ‘self-service kiosks’ at departures forecourt area outside the terminal building, can straight head to express security check lane without getting into the check-in area and then go towards the boarding area. The CISF’s plans come at a time when there have been talks of using identities like Aadhaar and others for starting biometric entry system of passengers at airports. It plans to not only introduce a system like the Hyderabad airport but also work towards doing away with the boarding pass with the help of biometrics.

The Central Industrial Security Force, along with other agencies like the BCAS and Ministry of Civil Aviation, has recently started a passenger-friendly system of doing away with tagging and stamping of hand baggage tags for both domestic and international air travellers at 17 airports in the country. This new system is expected to be launched at ten more airports by the end of this month or early October.

 

 

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