Thursday, February 07, 2019

Mumbai trial on, CISF favours phasing out boarding card stamping from other airports too

New Delhi: Passengers flying out of Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Cochin and Ahmedabad may soon not need to get their boarding cards stamped “security cleared” before being allowed to board planes. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) recently started a trial project, where domestic passengers flying out of Mumbai Airport’s terminal 2 on Air India, Jet and Vistara won’t have their boarding cards stamped till this month-end.

Now, CISF has asked the chief airport security officers (CASO) of Delhi, Hyderabad, Banglore, Chennai, Kolkata, Cochin and Ahmedabad airports to visit Mumbai Airport’s T2 for a day and see how the no-boarding-card-stamping trial is being run. “As of now there is no proposal (for doing a similar trial run at other airports). However, CISF’s airport sector has instructed CASOs of some airports to go to Mumbai Airport and see this Digi Yatra (DY) trial there so that in course of time it can be implemented at those airports,” said a senior CISF official.

The government’s DY program envisages paperless for domestic passengers using facial biometrics. Since its complete rollout at big airports will take time, in the meanwhile CISF has been trying to speed up processes at India’s infra-starved airports — which are handling more passengers than they are built for — by first doing away with stamping of hand bag tags and now aiming to eliminate boarding card stamping at big airports without compromising security in any way. CISF is responsible for frisking passengers and checking hand bags.
Asked if it also planned to do a trial on ending boarding card stamping, Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL) had recently said it “had conducted a pilot with similar functionality in October 2018 with integration at e-gates and boarding points. This was witnessed by CISF as well. We now plan to implement an end-to-end solution that conforms to the revised Digi Yatra Policy. As per this policy there is a central platform under development, and our solutions will comply with the same. We are in the process of evaluating appropriate solutions/technologies, which are best-in-class globally.” Delhi’s IGI Airport handled almost 7 crore passengers last year and is India’s busiest airport.
07/02/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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