Top aviation experts are of the opinion that the country will soon witness paperless air travel based on biometric verification. Maneesh Jaikrishna, Vice President – Indian Subcontinent, Eastern and Southern Africa, SITA, said that the research they have conducted indicates that 70% of the Indian air passengers would opt for biometrics for air travel as opposed to the use of a boarding card or passport at specific airport checkpoints. In fact, the global average of passengers who opt for this mode of check-in is 57%, and the figures in India are well above this average.
Jaikrishna also mentioned that the national Aadhaar repository could be used for biometric identity verification. This, coupled with SITA’s Smart Path technology, would help in ensuring a secure passage for commuters through airports. This would also improve the overall efficiency of the system.
At the recent Air Transport IT Summit held in Jaipur, Jaikrishna had stated that the days of paperless travel are nearing. He also mentioned that passengers are quickly embracing innovations and technological advances in the realm of air travel. He stated that passengers are more inclined to adopt technology as opposed to the existing face-to-face interaction.
Jaikrishna mentioned that SITA’s Smart Path makes use of biometrics as the token of identification during each wing of the passenger’s journey. This system can also be integrated into airline systems and airport infrastructure easily. It is easy to deploy the system and it is cost-effective too.
Smart Path integrates with government databases for border checks and immigration. It is designed on a modular basis and the airport can manage the whole journey of the passenger.
Jaikrishna stressed upon the government’s move to digitise air travel through the Digiyatra. He said that three airports were chosen for the implementation of the biometric access system that would regulate the process of passenger boarding. Initiatives such as these only emphasize on the future of air travel being digital.