Bengaluru airport to be country's first Aadhaar-enabled airport by December 2018; aims to speed up verification process

Looks like Bengaluru airport is all set to become the country's first Aadhaar-enabled airport by December 2018, after a two month pilot project starting in February next year

Looks like Bengaluru airport is all set to become the country's first Aadhaar-enabled airport by December 2018. Following the two-month trial period in February, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) has decided to make the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) fully compliant with Aadhaar-enabled entry and biometric boarding system.

Kempegowda International Airport. Image: BIAL

Kempegowda International Airport. Image: BIAL

According to a report in The Times of India, the airport is set to be completely Aadhaar-enabled by December 2018 which is an initiative in line with KIA set to become a Smart Airport, one which is fully digitised, seamlessly connected and intuitive airport. BIAL wants to use Aadhaar identification for entry and e-boarding purposes. The process is aimed at speeding up the passenger verification process and access control among other things. According to BIAL, this process will help a passenger be verified within 5 seconds at every checkpoint from the entry to the boarding gate.

The idea is to bring down this time frame down to 10 minutes instead of the average 25-minute duration it takes with the current processes.

BIAL has set a 325-day deadline to implement the new Aadhaar system. The project is expected to go live by March 2018. In 90 days after that, all the domestic airlines will be brought on board this new system. By October 2018, passengers boarding even international flights will be able to use this new system. 31 December 2018 is expected to be the project completion date.

According to a spokesperson for BIAL, the real-time authentication of passengers will improve security, speed up clearance and reduce delays at the airport. "In addition to eliminating the need for passengers to present their ID and boarding passes at multiple stages of the airport journey, passengers can expect passage through various touch-points to be smooth and stress-free," said the spokesperson.

Speaking to TOI, BIAL executive director Hari Marar said that one of the key drivers to the create an airport of the future would require embracing of technologies to streamline the travel processes. "As we continue to see exponential growth in passenger traffic, there's an urgency to implement systems that allow quicker transit time, ensuring the smooth ingress and egress of passengers," said Marar.

The Aadhaar-enabled verification is also expected to be shot in the arm for the security purposes. The security will improve, with time-stamped logs for each passenger for any business insight, intelligence or forensic analysis. It also gives the autorities the ability to create passenger profiles if needed in the future for improving efficiencies. For passengers, they will not have to show a paper ticked or boarding pass and ID at multiple checkpoints. There will be seamless access across all the checkpoints at the airport which should bring down waiting time.

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