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Airport gears up for paperless entry

CHENNAI: The Chennai airport is gearing up to permit passengers to enter terminal buildings after showing the tickets on their smartphones, tablets or laptops. The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has announced that passengers need not bring printouts of their tickets anymore to enter an airport.

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel, who man the entry and exit gates of terminal buildings, will soon be trained to check passenger name record (PNR), name and other details of the ticket on tablets or laptops of passengers.

"We will have to train them because there will be a change in procedure. The personnel will be given an orientation as soon as we get a notification with details from BCAS. CISF is yet to get the directive," said a senior official of CISF. As the announcement has already been made, officials expect the circular to reach them in a few days.

The circular is expected to contain details of procedures that should be followed by security personnel to ascertain the identity of a passenger. CISF men will have to specifically look at the PNR of the e-ticket or virtual coupon records sent to customers for the purchase of a ticket and verify their name.

Now, CISF personnel check ticket printouts and crosscheck the name with an identity card to allow passengers to enter the airport. This system was causing inconvenience to passengers who either forget or misplace their tickets. Getting a printout at cheaper rates is very difficult at the airport. Several passengers either end up having to pay at the airline counters to get a printout or have to depend on places where internet access is available.

"It is a common sight to see passengers running around to get printouts of tickets to enter the terminal. Such inconveniences can be avoided now," said an airport officer.

Indian Railways was the first to do away with printouts of tickets. Now, railway passengers can show an SMS from the railways ticketing website to travel in reserved compartments. Travellers feel that airports should have brought that reform earlier than the railways because a majority of air passengers own smart phones, tablets or laptops.

BCAS did not bring in the system for security reasons. An airline official said, "It is high time boarding is also made paperless here. Passengers can show electronic boarding pass or QR codes sent to their mobile phones and board planes after check-in abroad. There is also no concept of security personnel screening passengers before allowing them to enter an airport."
Source - Times of India

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