The FINANCIAL — In line with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s ongoing ‘Digital India’ initiative and robustly contributing towards Telangana State’s vision of ‘Brand Hyderabad’, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad, became the first airport in India to go live on E-boarding for all domestic passengers.
Hon’ble Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju today dedicated the seamless E-boarding facility, built in-house by GMR Hyderabad Airport Ltd. (GHIAL), to the nation by formally launching the process for the domestic departing passengers at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.
After getting the approval from Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) under the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) in August 2015, GHIAL implemented the E-boarding process for all domestic passengers at RGIA. With this, the airport has embarked on providing a whole new experience to the domestic passengers. The innovative end-to-end E-boarding process has triggered a paradigm shift in air passenger handling process in the country, making Hyderabad Airport a pioneer in the field of technology enabled Airports in India, according to Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.
Commenting on this development, Mr. SGK Kishore, CEO, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL), said, “We have been continuously working to enhance the passenger experience at Hyderabad Airport. Introducing solutions based on technology is our key focus area in the airport operations. In line with this, we are happy to announce, a comprehensive end-to-end E-boarding solution, first time at any Indian airport. After the successful pilot of the project and a go-ahead from BCAS, we have used our internal capabilities to commence full-fledged end-to-end E-boarding in shortest possible time. Our in-house built E-boarding solution is in line with the ‘Digital India’ programme envisioned by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.” Further speaking on the occasion, Mr. Kishore said, “Implementation of successful E-boarding at RGIA is outcome of the seamless collaboration with cross functional teams and our stakeholders – Air India, Jet Airways, Spice Jet among other airlines and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).”
The E-boarding solution at RGIA is quite unique as it fully eliminates the need to manual stamping of boarding cards even for physical boarding cards issued by CUSS (Common Use Self Service) machines or the check-in counters. Further, it covers end-to-end all the key passenger processes at the airport viz. starting from entry to terminal and including check-in, security check, boarding gate and finally the boarding bridge check before entering the aircraft.
With the implementation of E-boarding at RGIA, now a domestic passenger flying from the airport will need only a mobile E-boarding card and his Aadhaar Card Number to gain entry into the airport. However, the system is equally compatible with other conventional modes as well viz. one can use the boarding card issued by CUSS machine or check-in counters also. Further, fliers would have flexibility to follow the traditional process of showing a photo-ID to gain entry into the airport in case the Aadhaar number is not available.
The unique passenger workflow designed for the E-boarding process makes it robust through integration with Aadhaar Card and biometric credentials for veracity check, along with integration with airlines database for real time information about the passenger within the airport terminal. The process leads to ‘Enhanced Security’ where in passenger details are checked online with Airline DCS (Departure Control System) at Main Entry and Security Hold area for Authenticity thereby avoiding fake entries. Availability of High Definition CCTV cameras at strategic locations ensures a high level of security. This automated facility promises a better environment as it is paperless and requires lesser manual interface.
From entry into the terminal, to boarding the aircraft, a passenger needs to only use e-boarding card. Movement through this channels ensures that the passenger’s movements are tracked electronically (with timestamp) and through dedicated HD CCTV cameras at each of these checkpoints. This enhances the security at the airport by adding an extra layer of technologically advanced tracking to the existing security apparatus.
The process of e-boarding is seamless and integrated with the passengers’ name list from the airline. This also makes it very easy to check whether the passenger is actually at the airport or not. Timings of the entry to the airport and the other touch points are recorded, which help RGIA to continuously enhance its operational efficiency. Since the entry through E-boarding is time bound and guided as per regulations, the E-Boarding Reader machine does not allow the passengers inside the terminal before the stipulated time, thus reducing congestion inside the airport.
E-boarding is robust enough to be also compatible for the regular passengers who do not carry smart phones. The regular passenger can get inside the terminal after normal security check at the departure gate. They can get the boarding card from the check-in counter or from the CUSS (Common Use Self Service) machine. These boarding cards also have QR Codes, which can be flashed to the E-gate 2D Bar Code Reader and head for security check and later use the same card for boarding purpose.