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Thumb impressions could soon be all you need to check into Indian airports

Think Change India
19th Dec 2016
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Here is good news for air passengers in India, who will no longer have to stand in long queues to check in at airports across the country and avail their boarding passes. The Central Aviation Ministry is now planning to introduce the feature of employing a biometric screening process in airports, which could reduce the waiting time for checking in before the boarding of flights.

Image : (L) - Quartz; (R) - IndiaTimes
Image : (L) - Quartz; (R) - IndiaTimes

The only documentation that will be required to go through the check-in counters is the fingerprint of the passenger. So, passengers can just flash their thumbs to enter airports, instead of producing identification documents and tickets. The idea is to digitally connect the Aadhar cards of passengers while they are booking the tickets on various booking sites. Till now, over 100 crore Aadhar cards have been issued, for which the applicants submitted their iris and fingerprint scans. These scanned identification details of the applicants have been embedded into the national digital registry, and shall be automatically identified when the thumbs are flashed.

A test project has been successfully employed and implemented at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad for allowing admittance into the terminal.

A senior official from the aviation ministry told IndiaTimes, "We are examining the technical feasibility of asking people to give their Aadhar card numbers at the time of booking tickets. At airports, they can press their thumb for biometric identification, enter terminals and board domestic flights." However, passports are needed for international travel.

According to The Hindu, the CEO of the GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL), SGK Kishore, said, "After successfully completing the POC (Proof of Concept) at the Hyderabad Airport, we have formally asked UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) to recognise us as an authorised user agency."

This is a welcome initiative for air passengers in India, who travel through busy airports like the ones in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, where there is always an immense rush of passengers at the check-in counters due to the high air traffic at these airports.

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