India to link Aadhaar to air travel

India’s biometrics-backed unique ID system, Aadhaar, could be taking on another vital role in the country with its card becoming a mandatory document to fly.

The government has tasked IT security firm Wipro with developing the infrastructure to make biometric authentication possible at all airports in the country.

Wipro is expected to provide a report on the plans by early May, after which all airports will begin the process of a passenger’s thumb being all the identification he or she requires to fly for domestic flights.

According to a Times of India report, Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha said it was felt a joint system should be developed that can be replicated by all airports.

Wipro has been asked to develop a concept note in this regard after consulting all stakeholders, including the JV airport operators.

He added: “Once passengers reach the airport they are flying out of, flyers can just keep their thumb on the touch pad at the entry point.

Once inside, a similar process can be repeated at other places like check-in. We want passengers to have as seamless and effortless a travel experience at airports as possible”.

Earlier this year, Aadhaar was made mandatory for airport workers, with a new rule put in place based on a directive from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) to ensure effective monitoring and as measure to beef up security at airports.