Bengaluru to get first Aadhaar-enabled airport in the country by Dec 2018

WION Web Team Delhi, India Oct 09, 2017, 06.57 AM(IST)

The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) gave the go-ahead to make KIA Aadhar-enabled after a two-month pilot project in February. Photograph:( DNA )

Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bengaluru will be the country's first airport to have complete Aadhaar-enabled entry and biometric boarding system. 

After a two-month-long pilot project in February, the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) has given its go-ahead to the plan. 

According to the Request For Proposal (RFP) issued by BIAL, the airport is expected to become completely Aadhaar-enabled by December 2018, and the initiative is in line with its endeavours to become a Smart Airport—a digitized, seamlessly connected and intuitive one.

BIAL in its proposal lays down the benefits of using Aadhaar-enabled entry and biometric e-boarding process to confirm personal identity for airport passenger processing and access control among other things. The process would enable a passenger to be verified in under five seconds at every checkpoint right up to the boarding gate, completing the screening process in 10 minutes compared to the average 25 minutes. This would help more passengers enter through the same gate.

As reported by TOI, a spokesperson of BIAL said, "With real-time authentication of passengers, entry using biometric readers can enhance security, speed up clearance and alleviate delays at the airport. In addition to eliminating the need for passengers to present their ID and boarding pass at multiple stages of the airport journey, passengers can expect passage through various touch-points to be smooth and stress-free."

According to BIAL executive director and president, Hari Marar, the new move will speed up the validation process and provide a significant increase in security.

He said, "The use of biometrics will soon be the only verification required at each passenger touch-point and will go a long way in improving the flow of passengers, providing a better travel experience as well as greater operational visibility for stakeholders."

He added, "A key driver to creating an airport-of-the-future is to embrace technologies that simplify, streamline and enhance travel processes. And 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."

The RFP was issued on October 3 wherein BIAL has set a 325-day deadline to implement the new system. 

The project is expected to go live by March 30, 2018 with a working functionality of airport entry. It will take another 90 days under phase-2 for all domestic airlines to be roped in. 

By October 4, 2018, even those boarding international airline flights will be able to access the new system and by December 31, 2018, the project will be complete, according to the RFP.