Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Face it! Entry into airport just got hi-tech for fliers from city

Hyderabad: For the first time in India, about 120 passengers walked into Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) simply by looking into a camera. This is part of a pilot project under the Centre’s DigiYatra programme to try out its face recognition (FR) system.
For the time being, authorities are testing the system at only the airport’s entry points. In the long term, it will be extended to all security check points, allowing the passenger to virtually board a flight using just his face.

The trials will be conducted till July 31 and will be open to all domestic fliers. “As many as 180 passengers voluntarily signed up for FR, though 70% used it on the Day 1. The numbers are certain to increase,” said a representative of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL).

To begin with, the facility is being extended only to passengers with hand baggage and flying to Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada.

“This will eventually be extended to all domestic fliers. It will not only make the process of boarding smoother but also help them save time. At present, CISF staff spend at least half a minute on physically checking every passenger’s ID card,” the official said.

In 2018, the FR system was tested on GHIAL staff. It has been conceptualised as an extension of its e-boarding framework and ultimately aims at making air travel completely paperless.

“If the pilot is successful, it will be used for security checks as well. Instead of displaying the boarding pass, passengers can just look into the camera to ascertain their credentials. If found genuine, the system will automatically clear their passage towards boarding,” a GHIAL staff said.

RGIA clocks a daily footfall of close to 60,000 passengers.
02/07/19 Sudipta Sengupta/Times of India

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