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Bengaluru airport to incorporate Aadhaar for biometric screening at entry


Bangalore International Airport will soon enable biometrics screening at entry for Indian citizens with an Aadhaar digital identity number in an effort to increase security and efficiency, according to a report by ET Tech.

“The process of manual verification of identity is a security concern and a pain point for the consumer. We want to digitize and automate the process to make the entire experience memorable and hassle-free,” said Hari Marar, managing director at BIAL, which operates Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport. “The process should be as simple as waving my hand to get entry into the airport.”

Bengaluru airport is currently trialling the concept with technology vendors Morpho and Vision Box.

Last year, Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport implemented end-to-end e-boarding initiative based on biometric screening that uses Aadhaar card data. Additionally, the Mumbai and Delhi airports are currently preparing to introduce e-boarding.

Bengaluru airport processed almost 10.5 million passengers in the first half of 2016, making it the third-busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic behind the Delhi and Mumbai airports.

So far, more than 1 billion people in India have been issued Aadhaar cards, for which their facial, iris and fingerprint data are stored in a national database.

The Indian government has used Aadhaar for several applications, including for identity verification in issuing passports and direct transfer of cash subsidies under various welfare programs.

Bengaluru airport needs to overcome its share of legal and procedural challenges in order for the biometric screening initiative to have a significant security impact, said Amber Dubey, partner and India head for aerospace and defence at consultancy firm KPMG.

One of the most prominent challenges, Dubey said, is the lack of Indian citizens and foreigners registered for the voluntary Aadhaar cards.

In addition, Dubey also pointed out that Bengaluru airport’s biometric scanning system would have to be linked both to the Aadhaar database and to the National Crime Records Bureau’s database to detect any individual on the no-fly list.

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