While currently only Vistara flights will have the biometric-based self-boarding system, it will be integrated into other airlines soon.

Bengaluru airport rolls out paperless boarding as part of Centres Digi Yatra schemeImage for representation
news Technology Wednesday, July 24, 2019 - 09:28

The Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, since Monday, started the paperless self-boarding process, which does not require travellers to show any travel documents through every passenger touchpoint. This is part of the Union government’s Digi Yatra project — a fully biometric-based self-boarding solution for a seamless flow from registration to boarding

After Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Hyderabad, Bengaluru Airport will be the second airport to be part of the Centre’s Digi Yatra initiative.

This boarding process is currently limited to travelling on Vistara flight UK864 from Bengaluru to Mumbai. The airport management said, “This was made possible by the integration of Vistara’s Departure Control System (DCS) with the technology, allowing effortless processing at the entry to the terminal, passenger security screening and the boarding gate. All Vistara flights are expected to be integrated into the biometric boarding process at Bengaluru Airport by October 2019.”

Over the next few months, this process is expected to be integrated with check-in/self-bag-drop to include other domestic and international airlines at the Airport. In the final stage, this technology will be integrated with the Digi Yatra Central Platform, which is currently being architectured by the Central Government’s Digi Yatra Foundation.

Passengers can simply enrol their ID and biometric data, combined with their flight details, before entering the Terminal. As they travel through the airport, passengers can put their travel documents away, as they will be authenticated and verified at every touchpoint due to the biometrics.

With regards to privacy concerns and misuse of data, airport authorities, in a press statement, said, “This process offers the highest degree of safety and security while ensuring stringent standards of privacy. The biometric data is used only for authentication and verification of passengers to assist the boarding process and not for recognition. Additionally, the passenger data is deleted within a few hours of flight completion.”

The system has become operational after Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL) Managing Director and CEO Hari Marar and the technology provider Vision Box signed an agreement in September 2018.

Read: Hyderabad airport's facial recognition system: What are the privacy concerns?

How the technology works

Passengers who want to avail of this service will have to first register themselves at the airport and get their facial biometrics recorded in specialised cameras at the airport on a one-time basis. Following this, they can use their face as the boarding pass by accessing specialised eGates set up for identity authentication.

With these self-clearance checkpoints at the airport, passenger movement will be faster with lesser queuing. Biometric technology will identify passengers by their face as they move across the airport, avoiding stops and the repeated presentation of boarding passes, passports or other physical identity documents.



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