‘Face ID’ Check-Ins For Fliers at Bengaluru Airport Takes Off

Paperless flying will make sure people are not required to show their boarding passes till the board the flight.

Tech News
3 min read

Acceptance of biometric recognition has made its way to airports in the country now. The Bengaluru airport is now facilitating Vistara airlines with the so-called “kerb-to-gate service”, which is nothing but offering paperless boarding to fliers at this airport.

This is part of the first phase of adopting biometric-based self-boarding solutions at airports, and by next year you’ll be welcomed by over 350 touchpoints for paperless entry to travel airborne from the same airport.

The back-end technology has been provided by global company called Vision-Box, which claims to have setup a privacy-protected information network to assist in this project.

In addition to Bengaluru, reports recently have indicated that the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi will also join the ranks with biometric-supported check-ins in the next few months.

Passengers can simply enroll their ID and biometric data, combined with their flight details, before entering the terminal.
Vistara statement

How Paperless Check-In Will Work?

  • Fliers enroll with biometric data and personal details at registration kiosk outside the terminal.
  • Biometric scanners have been setup at three points: the terminal, security check and the boarding gate, the person will be passing through these without requiring to show their boarding pass at each step.
  • Face data is used to authenticate and verify only
  • Airline claims the face data is deleted few hours after journey completed
The paperless process will only work for domestic fliers and other airlines are likely to adopt the technology in the near future.

This basically means, passengers won’t be required to carry big set of papers (if you still do that) and instead their authentication and verification (via face ID) will be done at every touch point.

In few weeks from now, the system will first be used on staff at the Delhi airport, and will be extended to flyers by the end of this year.

As fascinating and convenient as it sounds, the concerns of your data being used for tracking purpose brings the question data privacy laws into the equation. Which, unfortunately is non-existent in India for now.

After all, digital system for facial recognition of citizens has legitimate benefits in identifying criminals, tracing missing persons and aiding investigations, for those trying to flee the country.

However, the spokesperson for the Bengaluru Airport speaking to The Quint highlighted that the face data is not captured and stored on any server or database. He also stated the technology deployed complies with stringent data regulation laws, including that of the European Union General Protection Data Regulation (GDPR).

The technology platform meets legal and regulatory requirements of data privacy and security and respects passenger privacy. The back-end platform is equally 100 percent compliant with European Union GDPR law. 

This technology will be integrated with the Digi Yatra central platform that is currently being architectured by the central government’s Digi Yatra Foundation. In the initial phase, passengers will have to register their biometric details every time they intend to travel without having a boarding pass.

But eventually, the Bengaluru airport will rely on a person’s Digi Yatra ID, which will be available after a one-time registration process is made available.

Countries like China have heavily adopted facial recognition for entry/exit of people at various points and it seems India’s inspiration comes from its neighbour’s idea to use biometric technology to ID its citizens.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
Read More