Biometrics-based immigration checks at New Delhi, Mumbai & Bengaluru airports soon! Check details | India Business News – Times of India

Biometrics-based immigration checks at Indian airports soon! The Indian government is planning to implement a faster biometrics-based process for international passengers to expedite immigration checks at airports. This initiative is part of the government’s strategy to develop India’s airports as global transit hubs.
The airports in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru will introduce automated immigration clearances, allowing international entries and departures without physical passport verification.The authentication process will be done through face recognition or fingerprints, according to an ET report.
Last week, Jyotiraditya Scindia, the civil aviation minister, discussed the plans with the chairman of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and chief executives of private airports. He also inquired about the feasibility of using the DigiYatra app. Currently, domestic air passengers can utilize the DigiYatra app for a paperless process, saving them time.

Red carpet for foreign tourists

The DigiYatra project, which is managed by the private non-profit body Digi Yatra Foundation, is working on developing a prototype for electronic passport-based enrollment. The CEO of Digi Yatra Foundation, Suresh Khadakbhavi, mentioned that testing is currently underway. The foundation aims to collaborate with the Bureau of Immigration and visa-issuing agencies to enable this service for international visitors.
Use of e-passports
Initially, first-time visitors to India will need to enroll and go through immigration clearance using iris, facial, and fingerprint biometrics at the manual counters. However, during departure, they will have the option to use the automated clearance route. On subsequent trips, if they use the same passport, they can be cleared with iris and facial biometrics at the manual counters.
Khadakbhavi stated that this system will be initially rolled out for international passengers, with Indian citizens gaining access once the government starts issuing e-passports. This new process will significantly reduce the need for passengers to repeatedly present their travel documents at various touch points, ensuring a more seamless and convenient journey.

The Ministry of External Affairs officials revealed that the government plans to issue e-passports to Indian citizens starting this year. These e-passports will be a combination of paper and electronic passports, featuring a Radio Frequency Identification chip and antenna embedded in the back cover. The critical information of the passport will be printed on its data page and stored in the chip. The Indian Security Press, Nashik, has produced samples of electronic passports that meet the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Once the technical ecosystem and infrastructure are complete, full-scale production and issuance of e-passports will commence.
To transform Indian airports into major international hubs, the government is in the process of formulating a national policy. This policy aims to address issues such as long queues at immigration counters, security and immigration bottlenecks, allocation of international flying rights, and the development of necessary infrastructure. The goal is to establish airports in India, like the one in the National Capital, as competitive transit hubs similar to Dubai and Singapore. The policy will require approval from the Cabinet.

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