Airports argue an Aadhaar-enabled system will help increase throughput at airports, improve security and provide a seamless experience to the customer.
Even as government sources suggest there is no plan to make Aadhaar mandatory for fliers, some airports like Hyderabad and Bengaluru have already implemented aadhar-enabled entry, while some others like Baroda and Vijayawada airports are set to start soon.
Airports in favour of the Aadhaar-based entry system argue it will improve security and increase throughput considerably, as it will ease entry procedures for passengers who currently go through a manual verification to enter the airport.
Airports like Bengaluru and Hyderabad, which are particularly over their peak capacities, use manual entry procedures only as a back-up.
The Aadhaar-based entry at Hyderabad is done in coordination with airlines through a process called e-boarding, which has now replaced a single-lane manual scan channel to two-lane automated e-gate for scan of the boarding pass.
At Bengaluru airport, the Aadhaar biometric verification has shortened the entire process up to boarding to 10 minutes from average 25 minutes under the manual system.
However, there are still some shortcomings in the system as it requires high-speed, real-time access to the Aadhaar database.
Also, the process will improve significantly once customers start linking their tickets to their Aadhaar numbers at the time of booking. Once this is done, Aadhaar can become a single identity document from entry to boarding. Currently, a pilot project at the Mumbai airport lets passengers with their Aadhaar linked to their tickets to board without a boarding pass. An earlier pilot conducted in Ahmedabad was considered to be a success, while Delhi may try it out next.“Based on our request and recommendation of the Civil Aviation Ministry, UIDAI has now agreed to permit Airport Operators to enrol as Authentication User Agency (AUA)/e-KYC User Agency (KUA), which would enable us to establish robust and speedy connectivity to the Aadhaar database and roll out the services for full-scale use at the airport,” a Hyderabad Airport spokesperson told Mint.The Great Diwali Discount!
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