Many Indian airports have accelerated their endeavors to leverage automation technology at airports in order to redefine the airport experience and ensure passenger safety in the present pandemic situation. GMR-led Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad leaves no stone unturned to refine the passenger experience! Hyderabad airport, already a pioneer — the first Indian airport to install an in-line baggage handling system, to provide express security check, and to implement facial recognition for passengers — has added another feather in its cap!
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has initiated an end-to-end paperless e-boarding facility for international flights, becoming the first airport in India to do so. IndiGo Airlines, as a key partner in this initiative, implemented this facility on October 2 when its passengers successfully e-boarded themselves on the 6E 1405 flight from Hyderabad to Sharjah.
The GMR group referred to this move as a milestone in the history of Indian aviation. Their press statement read, ‘Hyderabad International Airport has the credit to be the first and only airport in India to offer truly end-to-end paperless E-boarding to all its domestic passengers across all flights. Building on this laurel, under the true spirit of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, GMR Hyderabad International Airport has now started rolling out this indigenously developed digital solution to international flights’.
Currently, this service is available for select international flights of IndiGo Airlines, and it is said that other scheduled international carriers (operating out of Hyderabad) are in the process of integration with the airport’s e-boarding system. ‘This facility helps reduce the queue waiting time at the airport, works as an advanced security solution and removes redundancies at checkpoints, enables airlines to improve their resource utilization and optimize their processes,’ GMR detailed the benefits of this e-boarding system in their statement.
The e-boarding solution is backward-compatible; flyers can either use paper boarding passes or electronic boarding passes while availing of this service. International passengers using the e-boarding service need to book flight tickets online and do web check-in. The procedure is as follows:
At the Departures Entrance Gate, the flyer displays the digital/printed boarding card to the e-boarding scanner. After getting the boarding card scanned by the check-in agent at the check-in counter, she/he drops luggage at the counter and heads for passport verification. At the Security Screening Zone, she/he places her/his hand baggage on the Automatic Tray Retrieval System (ATRS) and moves for a security check, where she/he scans her/his boarding card on an e-boarding scanner. At the announcement of boarding, the flyer again scans the boarding card on the e-boarding scanner and proceeds to board the aircraft. Passengers are expected to comply with the special screening and other mandatory COVID safety protocols throughout the process.