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Security posers over paperless air travel

delhi Updated: Jan 28, 2013 00:58 IST
Faizan Haider
Faizan Haider
Hindustan Times
Faizan Haider

Civil aviation authorities are working to make travel paper-free, though they are yet to clear security-related doubts.

The proposal of mobile boarding passes, which will allow passengers not to carry copies of their boarding passes, is under consideration of the authorities.

Security agencies have agreed to recognise soft copies of e-tickets. Currently, passengers are allowed to enter the airport by showing the digital versions of their tickets. But, once inside the airport, they have to collect the boarding passes from the airline counters.

The Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) had recently conducted the trial run of a system in which passengers had to put their mobile phones in designated kiosks, which would read the bar codes provided by the airlines.

The mobile phone will act as a boarding pass but the main concern for the security agency is what will happen in case the passenger lost his phone after check-in.

"In that case, the passenger will travel without the boarding pass, which is a safety hazard. Every day, we deal with incidents where passengers either lose their cell phones or accidently swap them with others' phones during X-ray screening. We have sent our concern to the BCAS," a senior CISF official said. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is responsible for the security of airports across the country.

Officials said that though the move will help in reducing chaos at airlines counters inside terminals, the security concerns could not be overlooked.

"After the security check, the passenger is required to show the boarding pass to airline staff and in case he/she loses the phone, the airline will deny the boarding. We need to keep several factors in mind before this set-up," the officer added.

The CISF has been allowing passengers to enter the airport merely by showing a soft copy of the e-ticket from January 1. However, the force has made it clear that only the scanned copy of the original ticket will be treated as original.

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