Kempegowda Airport and Vistara introduce biometrics

By early 2020, plans to check biometrics at over 350 passenger touchpoints at BLR Airport Terminal 1.

Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru (BLR), has introduced a new biometric system with Vistara Airways (UK).

Passengers on Vistara flight UK864 from Bengaluru to Mumbai can check-in, pass security and board the aircraft without presenting travel documents. At each of these points their biometrics are checked instead. All Vistara flights are expected to be using the biometric process at BLR Airport by October 2019.

The airport is using the ‘Early Go Live’ procedures as part of BLR’s Digi Yatra project — a fully biometric-based system from registration to boarding. The One-ID biometric system comes from Portuguese company Vision-Box.

By early next year, BLR expects its programme to be the largest deployment of an end-to-end biometric programme in Asia with over 350 passenger touchpoints at BLR Airport Terminal 1.

Over the next few months, BLR Airport expects to integrate the process with check-in and self-bag-drop to include other domestic and international airlines. Finally, the technology will be integrated with the Digi Yatra Central Platform that is currently being built by the Central Government’s Digi Yatra Foundation.

Passengers can enrol their ID and biometric data, combined with their flight details, before entering the Terminal. As they travel through the airport, systems check passenger biometrics at every touchpoint.

Apparently the organisations and systems that have the biometric data are only using it for authentication and verification of passengers to assist boarding and not for recognition. They delete the passenger within a few hours of flight completion.

Bengaluru Airport is one of India’s most advanced in technology

In March 2016, it completed an operational trial of a biometric enabled boarding process.

In November 2018, Kempegowda deployed 16 fully-automated self bag drop units for passengers with Air Asia and Spice Jet.

350 passenger touchpoints at BLR Airport Terminal 1

Just think about that. 350 passenger touchpoints at BLR Airport Terminal 1. What are all these? Who gets this data? Will passengers be told who has their biometric data and what they do with it?

Passengers, airlines, airports and authorities must address and discuss the biometrics at airports debate now.

N.B. Image credit: Kempegowda Airport

Internet links

Vistara (UK)

Kempegowda International Airport (BLR)