The huge population of India is an opportunity in waiting for the airlines as they expand, however it comes with a different set of challenges for airport operators. Seeing off at the airport seems to be a big thing and for various other reasons, people who are not travelling also like to access the airport. This is a security issue, apart from being a crowd issue.
To discourage this practice, all airports in India are manned by security personnel, who need to scan your ticket and identification before you can access the airport, to ensure only genuine travellers and staff are admitted. Some people still make fake tickets and get access, but of course they can’t get access to the secure holding area after and are caught and penalized as well.
Bangalore Airport seems to have a new idea to tackle this issue, where it is looking at the Aadhar database. As per the Economic Times, the airport is investigating if they are able to just scan you in through your fingerprint. In my various uses of Aadhar, I’ve noticed the verification using biometrics is fast, and you get an intimation from the UIDAI every time your fingerprint is used.
Bangalore Airport will need to connect to various systems, including the airline’s ticketing platforms to be able to pull information on passengers, the Aadhar database and perhaps even the no-fly list database and validate access to people on the basis of that.
But there will always be those for whom there is no Aadhar enrolment yet, and the international passengers who will definitely not have enrollment on India’s biggest biometric database.
I’ve noticed scanner kiosks set up at Mumbai airport for mobile boarding passes, but you have to scan your mobile boarding pass all the way through in this case, a system I find broken, because the whole stamp the boarding pass by security agencies procedure is still on in India.
I’m excited to track this as it goes forward since Bangalore is essentially trying to cut out the Mobile-oriented processes and going straight away to biometric authentication. Initially I was circumspect of the Aadhar, but now that I had to give in my biometrics and they have them, I might as well be able to use them at as many places as possible, including the airport where it could be much quicker to pass through with the thumbprint over the next 5 years. On the other hand, till everyone gets used to it, imagine the confusion that will ensue bringing up the time to get inside the airport as compared to the simple process right now.
Do you think this is a good idea? Do let us know