Friday, April 13, 2018

Aadhaar-based paperless boarding to take off soon

New Delhi:  Aadhaar-based biometric authentication and a smart phone will be all you’ll need to board domestic flights in India soon. The government will issue the all-approved template of this paperless and hassle-free "digi yatra" by the end of this month after which airports will be free to adopt the same. The process could start by July at Bangalore and Hyderabad, and then others will join this hi-tech bandwagon.
"We are working on the digital platform template to enable air travellers to complete airport processes smoothly. This should be ready by the month-end," aviation secretary R N Choubey told TOI. "Bangalore and Hyderabad airports have successfully conducted pilot projects for Aadhaar-based paperless boarding process, these two could be the first to roll out the same. Airports Authority of India (AAI) has prepared bid documents (and will issue tenders). AAI should roll the same out at its major airports by the end of this fiscal," Choubey added.
Among AAI airports, Kolkata, Ahmebadad and Vijaywada may be the first to get the new system. However, airports adopting digi yatra will keep the existing paper-based boarding system also in place as linking Aadhaar to air tickets will not be mandatory. Those who do not do so will fly they do so currently.
Under this system, only a mobile will be needed to board domestic flights to show e-boarding cards for scan at security check and boarding gate by those who link Aadhaar to air tickets at the time of booking. Their biometric authentication will confirm their identity, doing away with the need for paper I-cards.
Apart from benefits to passengers, the Aadhaar-based system will have several pluses for airlines and airport operators. The ‘smart' airports will have some smart entry gates with biometric authentication. With air travel booking linked to Aadhaar, the authentication will do two things — check the identity of the person and also see if he or she has a valid booking. Once these two are validated, the flyer will be granted entry. After getting entry, the passenger will do biometric authentication while clearing security and then at boarding gates.
13/04/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India