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Airports to soon have Aadhaar like security; will it be secure?

Aadhaar- a systematic and secure (not so much, what with news of data leaks) biometric solution that will keep the nation in check.

It seems as though this system is soon to come to the airports.

‘Digi Yatra’ — a biometric identity tool like Aadhaar, would soon lessen the time taken by a passenger to travel from the departure gate of the airport to the aircraft, at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport. The initiative, once started, will also be soon applied to other airports across the country, senior Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials said, on Friday.

The announcement was made by MA Ganapathy, Additional Director General (airport sector), on the eve of the CISF’s 49th raising day. Ganapathy also said that Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport and Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport have been judged as the airports with the best security for 2017, by the Airport Council International. The council had announced the ranks on Tuesday as a result of Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey, the official said.

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Earlier, a passenger feedback survey was conducted in 2017 at eight airports—Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Kolkata, Mumbai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, and Delhi— for over 30 days from October 1, 2017, to October 30. The survey was aimed to get feedback directly from the passengers about the quality of services being rendered by CISF and to assess the performance of ASG personnel at airports.

As a result of the feedback survey, on a scale of 5, the passengers had graded overall security and services of CISF as 4.73. CISF has been graded overall maximum 4.80 out of 5 in the category of “feeling of being safe and secure”, said

Further, Ganapathy said that the CISF had done away with the hand-baggage tags for passengers at 37 airports and added that by the year-end, more airports would be brought under this new security regime.

The ADG also said a trial for body scanners had been conducted in the past and added that the CISF would want to have them in place for a better screening of passengers and threats.

“It (body scanners) is not foolproof, but the results are encouraging. It is a work in progress,” he said.

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Asked about the recent reports of power banks posing a security threat at the airports, Ganapathy said the problem was with the “locally-made” mobile power banks that appeared as an improvised explosive device (IED) at the time of the X-ray screening.

“They will continue to be checked,” he said.

The ADG said the CISF was also working on a new plan to “right-size” its manpower with the integration of gadgets and with an aim to reduce the security deployment costs.

Let’s hope that if and when the new system comes it will not be as insecure as our Aadhaar details.


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