The decision was taken following a meeting of the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, with operators of all airport, private-owned ones such as New Delhi and Mumbai.
Wipro is likely to give a feasibility report within a month, it is learnt.
Senior ministry officials said as a part of the process, Aadhaar card numbers could be made mandatory for a passenger to book a flight ticket.
“Linking Aadhaar numbers to air ticket bookings is certainly an option the ministry is considering but nothing has been finalised. We are evaluating what other process of check-in we can use,” according to a ministry official. Airline companies have asked the ministry to make Aadhaar compulsory for booking tickets.
With such a database, kiosks can be built at separate points of the airport, including boarding gates, through which a passenger can just walk in without any manual inspection, another official pointed out.
Preparation is already in progress. “We are planning to have a pilot project on Aadhaar-enabled entry at some of our gates,” said Rajiv Jain, chief executive officer of Mumbai International Airport Limited.
AAI, through partnership with Boston Consulting Group, is studying the time required for check-in process at some busy airports, including Chennai, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar and Goa.
Amber Dubey, India head of aerospace and defence at KPMG, said biometrics make passenger verification and handling faster and more secure. “In the next 12-18 months, the top 25 airports should try to become paperless with the help of biometrics. Aadhaar at the time of booking will prevent identity frauds,” he said.
IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways and GoAir did not respond to queries. But, airline executives, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the airline lobby, Federation of Indian Airlines, has supported such a move. “We have to make some form of concrete identification mandatory for the passenger. At present, the Aadhaar card seems to be the most acceptable,’’ the executive said.
How it will be done
Aadhaar will be linked to ticket bookings
A database of biometric details, such as iris and thumbprint, will be built
Passengers can get their biometric details scanned at airport check points
How it will help
Passengers can check in faster at Indian airports, saving time
Biometric entry will make the process seamless
At Indian airports
Currently, Hyderabad airport enables biometric check-in at selected gates