Security at Indian airports is going to get even more stringent — starting with the Delhi airport.
All airport and airline officials and other staff at the airport will be issued smart cards instead of the Airport Entry Passes (AEPs) that are provided now. The passes are issued by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) for periods ranging from one day to three years to those who need to access the airport.
No pass has been issued since December 13, 2009. All passes have been made valid till March end due to the delay caused by upgradation to a biometric based airport access system.
“Airport Entry Passes (AEPs) have not been issued since December 2009 as the system is being upgraded,” said a Civil Aviation Ministry spokeswoman.
In the next two months, the first biometric smart cards will be issued at Delhi’s IGI Airport.
The other civil airports in the country will follow suit. Biometrics is the system to measure and statistically analyse biological data.
Apart from the card holder’s fingerprint details, the smart cards will contain personal details, photograph and address, and signatures of competent authorities.
“Verification of personnel for issuance of new cards is complete. The smart cards will be issued soon. Infrastructure at the airport, too, has to be upgraded,” said a senior Ministry official.
The AEPs issued at present are simple plastic colour-coded cards, and are checked by security personnel at airports.
“The cards can be duplicated and are not foolproof,” the official said.
Manual checking at airports, however, will continue even after the smart cards are issued.