CISF testing pilot project in Hyderabad; could be at some other airports from October.
New Delhi: After scrapping hand baggage tags at over a dozen airports in India, aviation security agencies now plan to dump the boarding pass collection system and start a “express check-in” system aided by biometrics to ensure smoother air travel.
CISF director-general O.P. Singh said in an interview to PTI the agencies had begun “exploring” the technology that is required to usher in the boarding card-less system of air travel at the 59 airports it guards at present and at the remaining facilities that will come under its umbrella as part of a “unified command” structure in the future.
“We are working on two projects. The first is how to introduce integrated security solutions at airports. You need to connect all dots that exist within the security establishment. You have so many strategies to do it... you have the biometrics, video analytics and a very robust access control system. We will try to interconnect all these things in a very integrated fashion,” said CISF director-general O.P. Singh.
Mr Singh told PTI that doing away with the boarding card system was a part of this project and a recent initiative launched at Hyderabad airport for the “express check-in” of passengers was an example of that.
“We may do away with boarding cards too. But that depends on how strong I become (about technology-based security systems). Hyderabad airport is the only airport in the country that is totally biometric. We are trying to explore this system for all airports,” he said.
The D-G said the launch of the new system at Hyderabad airport was for “every” stakeholder in airport security to see and it was a “shining example” regarding bringing in smart systems and taking new steps to ensure smooth and hassle-free movement of passengers at airports.
As part of the system unveiled at Hyderabad airport recently, domestic passengers after printing a boarding pass from “self-service kiosks” at departures forecourt area outside the terminal building can head straight to the express security check lane without getting into the check-in area and then go towards the boarding area.
The CISF’s plans come at a time when there have been talk about using identity documents like Aadhaar and others to start a biometric entry system for passengers at airports. It plans to not only introduce a system like the one at Hyderabad airport but also work towards doing away with the boarding pass with the help of biometrics.
“Our frisking time is certainly better than the global standards,” he said, adding that it was not more than 12 minutes. This new system is likely to be launched at 10 more airports by the end of this month or early October.
“We have the potential and capability to take over (security duties) of all airports. We are fully prepared, professionally and manpower-wise,” Mr Singh added.