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Delhi airport to get 'e-gates' for faster immigration clearance

The facility, called the Trusted Travellers Program (TTP), will come into effect from July, says a report

May 30, 2021 / 01:39 PM IST
Currently, the immigration clearance process takes about 1.5 to 2 minutes on an average for a passenger at counters staffed by immigration officials at Delhi’s IGI airport. (File image: PTI)

Currently, the immigration clearance process takes about 1.5 to 2 minutes on an average for a passenger at counters staffed by immigration officials at Delhi’s IGI airport. (File image: PTI)

Low-risk foreign travellers will not have to wait in long queues at immigration counters of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport as the government plans to install special automated electronic gates or e-gates for speedy document and identity verification.

The facility, called the Trusted Travellers Program (TTP), will come into effect from July, reported Hindustan Times citing officials. Initially, eight e-gates will be installed. Of these, four will be installed for departure and the remaining four will be for arrival immigration, it said.

According to the report, the facility has been designed on the lines of the United States’ Global Entry Program, which allows low-risk citizens of about a dozen countries, including India, to go through such a hassle-free service.

Under the US programme, the traveller just needs to visit the global entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport, place their fingerprints on the scanner for verification and complete a customs declaration.

At the end of the process, travellers are issued a transaction receipt by the kiosk after which they are directed to the baggage claim and then to the exit.

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It will ensure smooth entry of foreigners and cut down the time taken for immigration clearance to seconds, said the report.

Currently, the immigration clearance process takes about 1.5 to 2 minutes on an average for a passenger at counters staffed by immigration officials at Delhi’s IGI airport, said the report quoting an officer. This includes only time taken at the counter, excluding time spent waiting in the queue, it said.

However, if a traveller hits any e-Gate kiosk, the whole exercise is expected to be completed within 30-40 seconds, the officer was quoted as saying.

In this arrangement, e-Gates will be put in place where passengers can scan their machine-readable passports and boarding passes by themselves, as per the report.

After confirming that the passport and boarding pass are genuine, e-cameras will clear the travellers without any human intervention.

In the beginning, staff will be present at the e-gates to assist the passengers in the process, the report stated.

A pilot program to automate immigration clearance for passengers had launched for three months in December 2020. After completion of the trials, the facility received approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs to proceed, added the report.



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first published: May 30, 2021 01:39 pm
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