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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Easy ID to help govt track fliers

Tushar Srivastava, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 08, 2013
First Published: 22:14 IST(8/4/2013) | Last Updated: 22:17 IST(8/4/2013)

Your airport security checks may get easier soon but you will need to submit your photograph at the time of booking your air ticket. This will generate a barcode for instant identification at entry points.

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To keep track on flier movements, the aviation ministry plans to introduce a new passenger profiling system and build a database of domestic passengers for instant identity at airports.

The database, being dubbed as a “massive logistical exercise”, would include photo records of between 7 to 10 million passengers. Once the database is created, tickets will have barcodes for instant photo identification of passengers at entry points to airports.

As part of the proposal being worked out by the aviation ministry and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) passengers would need to upload or submit their photographs at the time of booking of tickets.

Barcode readers would be installed at airports’ entry gates. The readers will match the passengers’ faces with the photographs submitted at the time of booking of ticket. Once the photograph is matched, a passenger would be allowed entry inside the airport. Barcode readers would also be installed at security checkpoints inside the airport where the same exercise would be repeated.

“The advantage of this database would be that it would act as a guard against impersonation,” an aviation ministry official said.

The system would also help track as to where a passenger has travelled within the country and how many times. The aviation ministry plans to initially install the barcode readers at metro airports.

“Consensus has been reached on the necessity of a database and modalities on software are to be worked out,” said a senior ministry official. “Also, stakeholders including travel portals, airlines, airport operators would be part of the massive logistical exercise.”

Officials are also considering including biometric data of passengers as part of the database. “This would be a huge exercise and the costs of creating such a database would not be much as compared to its benefits,” the official added.


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