Bengaluru airport to use Aadhaar for biometric entry

Published on 02 Nov, 2016

Have an Aadhaar card? Jump the queues at the airport.

Bangalore International Airport is preparing to introduce biometric screening at entry for holders of India’s digital identity numbers, the first step in adding a layer of security and efficiency at one of the country’s busiest airports.

More than 1 billion people in India have been issued Aadhaar cards, for which facial, iris and fingerprint data are recorded into a national digital registry. The biometric data and digital identification numbers have been put to a number of uses, including for identity verification in issuing passports and direct transfer of cash subsidies under various welfare schemes.

But for Bengaluru airport’s initiative to have any security impact, several legal and procedural challenges have to be overcome, said Dubey.

For one, Aadhaar cards are not mandatory and hundreds of thousands of passengers—both Indian citizens and foreigners—are unlikely to be registered with it. Also, Bengaluru airport’s biometric scanning system would have to be linked both to the Aadhaar database as well as to the National Crime Records Bureau’s database to flag any person on the no-fly list.

Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport last year introduced an end-to-end e-boarding initiative based on biometric screening. It “uses Aadhaar card data to verify identity and data from the airline departure control system to ensure that a person entering the airport is a bona fide passenger,” said Kannan Sivasubramanian, executive vice president at research firm Aranca.

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