India airports piloting Aadhaar-based entry authentication

Taking the lead from a successful pilot phase at a Hyderabad, India airport where security officials processed travellers using Aadhaar-based airport entry authentication technology, Mumbai and Bengaluru airports are also planning to implement similar pilot projects next year, according to a report by The Hindu.

The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Hyderabad launched a pilot project in 2015 in which travellers had the option of entering their Aadhaar number at a kiosk located at one of the entry gates.

The airport now plans to expand the pilot to all entry gates, however, the Aadhaar-based entry authentication will be optional and those travellers who do not have a Aadhaar number can proceed after displaying physical identity documents at the entry gate.

“After successfully completing the POC [proof of concept] at the Hyderabad airport, we have formally asked UIDAI [Unique Identification Authority of India] to recognise us as authorised user agency,” S.G.K. Kishore, CEO of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL), said at the India Aviation ICT Forum 2016.

Kishore said the initiative will enable the airport to request UIDAI to speed up the kiosk processing at all the entry points to prevent any potential delays to travellers.

“It’s simple and successful. You just need to put in your Aadhaar number and the security personnel will be able to verify your details on the kiosk. We want to give seamless experience to the passengers,” Kishore said, adding that the airport is planning plans to take other steps to go paperless by using biometric identification. “We want to do the POC for doing away with physical boarding passes and link everything to the Aadhaar number.”

Mumbai airport is also preparing to introduce Aadhaar-based identity verification, according to Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) CEO Rajiv Jain.

“There is a government proposal to integrate Aadhaar with biometrics at airport entry points,” Jain said. “We may do it next year.”

The Kempegowda International Airport at Bengaluru is also set to implement biometric screening at entry gates through a pilot project next week, according to a senior Bangalore International Airport Limited executive.

“The biometrics-based entry in check-in procedure will substantially reduce the boarding time for passengers at airports and can be followed elsewhere too,” Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said at the forum.