Check-in at Indian airports to become paperless

Domestic passengers will be able to enter terminals without whipping out their IDs. Source: Nicolas Economou/Shutterstock

AS more airports work towards passport-less check-in to avoid long queues and provide a seamless experience, India too will jump on the bandwagon.

According to Times of India, the aviation ministry is linking the databases of airlines and airports with passenger IDs through Aadhaar and passport numbers. This means that passengers would eventually be able to use biometric scans to prove their identities before entering terminals without whipping out their IDs.

On top of that, printed flight tickets or e-tickets will not be needed as the database shows the flights booked to each passenger’s name. The system will also have it on record if a passenger has passed through the check-in and security gates before being allowed to board the plane at their respective gates.

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“Airlines will also be able to know the last level the missing flyer was at in case he does not report for boarding in time,” Aviation Secretary R.N. Choubey said.

On the other hand, the database will only let in passengers to their gates closer to the boarding time to avoid “anxious” passengers overcrowding boarding gates.

Presently, Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bangalore has started an Aadhaar-based kiosk as a pilot project, and it is being tested with passengers of one airline.

“We have set up a special unit in Airports Authority of India for giving shape to this ‘digi yatra’ program,” Choubey said.

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“Airport operators, especially from Bangalore and Hyderabad, are part of this as they have done a lot of work in this field. We will soon know the indicative cost of the project and time frame in which it can be implemented.”

The service will only be rolled out to domestic passengers and will begin trial runs at several airports across India including Pune and Ranchi.