The thumbprint might soon be all one needs as formal documentation to enter Indian airports and board domestic flights. The aviation ministry is planning to introduce biometric screening at airports to help passengers enter just by flashing their thumbs, instead of presenting identity proof along with tickets.
The aviation ministry has started work on the first part of using biometric identification and Hyderabad airport has successfully completed a pilot project for allowing entry into the terminal there.
A senior aviation ministry official stated, “Over a billion Aadhar cards have been issued so far. At the time of issuing these cards, biometrics, fingerprints and iris scans are taken and fed into a national digital registry. Presently, air travellers have to show their air tickets and valid identity cards to enter airports. 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 (for international passports will be needed).”
These scans have been fed into the national digital registry and can be used for biometric screening.
According to Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman of Airports Authority of India (AAI), the Hyderabad Airport has done a pilot project under the aegis of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and aviation secretary, RN Choubey had asked all airport operators, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and AAI to see that.