With the government making efforts to recognise Aadhaar as the only identity card in future, it is possible that a passenger’s thumb impression will be the only identification needed to board a domestic flight.
According to a Times of India report, the Centre has asked IT major Wipro to develop a blueprint for Aadhaar-based biometric access to flyers at all airports across India, and the latter is expected to submit the report by early May.
The Civil Aviation ministry has been looking at possibilities of linking Aadhaar numbers to air travel bookings and then enabling biometric access possible at airports.
A considerable step in this direction came at a recent meeting of various airport operators and airlines with aviation minister Jayant Sinha and aviation secretary R N Choubey.
“It was felt a joint system be developed that can be replicated by all airports. Wipro has been asked to develop a concept note in this regard after consulting all stakeholders, including the JV airport operators. We are seeing what all airport processes can be made e-enabled,” Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra told Times of India.
Mohapatra added that the idea behind this that passengers give their Aadhaar numbers at the time of booking tickets.
“Once they reach the airport they are flying out of, flyers can just keep their thumb on touch pad at entry point. Once inside, a similar process can be repeated at other places like check-in. We want passengers to have as seamless and effortless travel experience at airports as possible,” he added.
Mohapatra stated that due to security considerations, flyers have to show an ID card along with their tickets to be allowed inside airport terminals.
Aadhaar – a unique 12-digit number is assigned to about 99 per cent of adult Indian residents – links some 84 government services and is used as an authenticating tool for giving pensions and money transfers.
The government has proposed to make Aadhaar mandatory for securing a permanent account number and for filing income-tax returns from July.
Use of Aadhaar has also been extended to opening a bank account, buying a mobile SIM card and also to get a driver’s license.