After doing away with hand baggage stamping at several airports, the Ministry of Civil Aviation is mulling over a proposal for a biometric-based ‘Digi Yatra’ that will dispense with boarding passes.

With hassle-free travel for air passengers being the primary aim, a committee has been constituted under the Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman to look into its various aspects. The committee has on it airlines, private airports including Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore, as well as technical experts.

The proposal after being cleared by the committee will reach Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) for implementation. Hand baggage stamping has already been done away with at two dozen airports. According to AAI, stamping of hand baggage is not required at most airports where CISF has been deployed for security.

“In a couple of months, the ministry will be zeroing in on a model based on which biometric-based boarding and de-boarding will be made possible,” said AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra Biometric-based boarding has begun “elementarily” at Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad but a common model is yet to be developed.

A recent initiative has been launched at Hyderabad airport for ‘express check-in’ of passengers. “The idea is that throughout the process should be the same,” said Mohapatra. The involvement of CISF will be less after the travel is made biometric-based he said. “Only when it is necessary, CISF will be involved,” said Mohapatra.

The AAI chief said human interface will be less and machines will do most of the checking with CISF personnel doing frisking only when required. Aadhaar database can be used for the biometric-based boarding and de-boarding. However, it is not yet clear how foreigners will get the benefit of this as passports do not have biometric data. “The technology will have to be basically biometric. Experts will have to see how this can be done,” said Mohapatra.

Highlights

1. Ministry of Civil Aviation mulling on biometric-based Digi Yatra

2. Boarding Pass may become a thing of past

3. No need of frisking by CISF after this

4. It is not yet clear how foreigners will get the benefit of biometric-based boarding and deboarding HIG