Air travellers are already required to carry a copy of their identity card
while entering an airport. Now, a digital unique identification such as Aadhaar, PAN (Permanent Account Number), Passport Number is being proposed for air passengers, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha
said. This is part of the initiatives that the ministry is undertaking to use technology in order to make airport check-in seamless and formation of a no-fly list. The ministry had conceptualised the idea of a no-fly list after a Shiv Sena MP hit an Air India MP on board leading to all airlines boycotting him.
The ministry has also set up a digital traveller working group to provide suggestions on implementing the scheme.
Within 30 days, the group would come out with a white paper and subsequently, comments from the stakeholders would be sought before finalising the norms, Sinha said.
The ministry has asked software giant Wipro to study the prospect of building an integrated platform that will use a passenger's Aadhaar-based biometric information for the check-in process across all airports. The idea, officials said, was to cut down the time a passenger spends in airport queues. In a small way, the process has already been tried - at a few gates of the GMR-owned Hyderabad Airport. Bengaluru Airport which is owned by the Fairfax and GVK group is also utilising biometric information-enabled checking points to enable swift check-in.
Under the initiative, Aadhaar would not be made mandatory but would be an option among other digital identities, the minister said.
"This is a pull experience and not a push experience. Passengers still have the option of carrying a boarding pass if they so wish," he said.
With such a database, kiosks can be built at separate points of the airport, including boarding gates, through which a passenger can just walk in without any manual inspection
According to Sinha, the Ministry is studying proposals and would conduct extensive consultations to ensure comprehensive traveller coverage, convenience and privacy