Hyderabad: Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad became the first in the country to receive approval to implement end-to-end e-boarding for domestic passengers in what will make air travel easier and paperless.

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, an agency of the ministry of civil aviation, gave its approval after assessing a pilot project conducted at the airport during April-June. GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd, the operator of Hyderabad’s airport, successfully implemented a three-month e-boarding project in collaboration with Jet Airways.

About 7,000 fliers travelling via Hyderabad airport availed the e-boarding facility during the pilot. Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru airports are also implementing pilot projects using scanners and e-gates.

Implementation of full scale e-boarding will be initiated “soon" for domestic passengers, GHIAL said in a statement. It would come at no additional cost.

A passenger needs a mobile e-boarding card and an Aadhaar number to complete the e-boarding process. Passengers can check-in online and use the QR code received on their registered mobile phones to access common use self service (CUSS) machine at the departure area of the airport. They validate their credentials by keying in their Aadhaar number and doing a fingerprint scan.

The system verifies the biometric data with the central government’s database before issuing a mobile e-boarding pass.

Those with cabin luggage proceed directly to dedicated security check lane, e-Gate where their e-boarding pass is checked by Central Industrial Security Force, which mans airports in the country. Others drop in their check-in baggage at the regular check-in counters before heading for security. In the absence of regular boarding pass and bag tags, stamping is not required on any document.

To be sure passengers can use conventional check-in process in case an Aadhaar number is not available.

“Our E-boarding solution is in line with the ongoing ‘Digital India’ initiative envisioned by the honorable Prime Minister of India," SGK Kishore, chief executive officer of GHIAL, said in the statement. “The robustness of our technology-enabled solution is evident from the fact that we have become the first airport to receive the approval from the authorities. This reaffirms our commitment towards driving innovation for easing passenger facilitation process and enhancing operational efficiency at our airport."

The airport expects e-boarding to improve passenger processing time and enhance security at the airport. The e-boarding project is recognised by International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global trade body for 250 airlines.

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