Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) inviting applications from companies to provide the Aadhaar Enabled Entry and Biometric Boarding System (AEEBBS) at the Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore (KIAB). BIAL had piloted the AEEBBS at the airport earlier this year, and now wants to make it a permanent fixture.

Once potential vendor-partners send in their applications and bids, the same will be evaluated and vendor(s) will be finalised by December 2017. The implementation will be carried out over three phases: phase I is expected to be completed by March 2018, phase II by October 2018 and phase III by December 2018.

Potential vendor-partners can apply for two separate packages or both, if they so choose to:

Package I: AEEBBS Software Solution & Biometric Readers

Provision of the Backbone Infrastructure and Software Solution with workflow, recommended Biometric Readers (Iris/ Finger Print and/or Face) for the AEEBBS with an API for Integrating E-Gates and all other End user Devices like Tablets, Workstations etc.

Supply, Installation, Testing and Commissioning of Aadhaar Enabled Entry and Biometric Boarding System (AEEBBS) for Processing Passengers at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru for all the Checkpoints of the Airport right from the Airport Entry, CUSS Kiosks, Check-in Counters/ Self Bag Drop Machines, PESC Entry, Automated Boarding Gates and/ Or Step Ladder at the aircraft Door.

Package II: E-Gates with Passport and QR Code Readers

For Aadhaar Enabled Entry & Biometric Boarding System: E-Gates for AEEBBS at KIAB with a provision to incorporate Biometric Readers (Iris, Fingerprint and/ or Face) and integrate to the AEEBBS Software Solution.

Based on the throughput requirements of the Airport, the E-Gate may be capable of being configured as a “Normally Open” Gate which closes whenever there is an invalid transaction at the Biometric Single Token Verification

For further details check here.

This proposal doesn’t mention if BIAL plans to make Aadhaar-enabled entry mandatory or just an option. Also, it would be great if it doesn’t make silly errors like printing Aadhaar numbers on boarding passes, as was the case with Jet Airways. Once the system is in place, Indian passengers will be able to, potentially, glide through the check-in process, but what about International passengers who will not have Aadhaar or any other equivalent? So, the old method of checking-in continues for them?

Data Privacy

In regards to data privacy, the RFP states that data management will be compliant with UIDAI standards, and with Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA). In case of biometric data, this is how it will be handled:

  • Biometric data shall be flushed out of the AEEBBS System at the end of the Passenger’s Journey at the Airport i.e. after completion of Boarding and Departure of the passengers’ Flight.
  • Passenger Travel Logs without the Biometric data shall be stored for the duration of 30 Days.

Aadhaar for air travel

In June this year, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had contracted Wipro Technologies to, among other things, evaluate the prospect of developing a platform that will utilize passenger’s Aadhaar-based biometric information during check-in processes across all airports in the country. Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha had said that the implementation of the national no-fly list was one of the reasons for this. A team formed at Wipro Product Engineering Services had begun studying the viability of these services, while the ecosystem players already onboard at the time were Paytm, Uber and iSpirit.