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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Profiling fliers, Western-style

The new profiling system will help custom authorities in checking crime at the airport, reports Mayank Tewari.

india Updated: Mar 25, 2007 03:35 IST
Mayank Tewari
Mayank Tewari

International airports in the country will soon have world-class passenger profiling software similar to one's used in Western countries.

The Directorate of Systems in the Customs Department has begun work on a passenger profiling system linking all the international airports in the country.

The profiling software, still in development stages, will be a first for the Indian Customs Department and will boost its crime-prevention activities at the airport.

"Over the last few years, we have worked hard to make things simple for the passengers. Currently 99 per cent of the passengers are allowed to walk through the green corridor without any stoppage. The technological edge that we will get from the software will increase the passenger comfort at the airport," an official said.

Sources in the Customs Department informed that the software is being developed on the guidelines issued by the World Customs Organisation. "Once it is ready, we will match the best technology being used internationally," said a senior customs official.

Currently, the custom department undertakes human profiling based on intelligence inputs from various agencies and psychological profiling of passengers done by its own sleuths. "We go through the passenger list before any flight lands. This acts like as a first filter," said an official of the custom department on condition of anonymity.

With the profiling software in place, a customs official sitting in Delhi's IGI airport would be able to access the passenger data of any flight taking off or landing from any international airport. The database will also be linked to the database of all the agencies involved in airport security like the CISF and various intelligence agencies.

Speaking to the Hindustan Times on conditions of anonymity, a senior custom officials said: "Profiling is the most important aspect of preventing smuggling of narcotics. Though we have one X-ray machine, which can even detect whether a banned substance was even carried in a bag days ago, we cannot put each and every baggage under the scanner."

"Using various databases the software will be able to create templates of suspected profiles, which will be matched with the profiles of the real travellers to generate a list of 'suspected' passengers," the senior official added.

First Published: Mar 25, 2007 03:13 IST