CHENNAI: The neglect of Chennai in introducing the much touted ‘Paperless Face Recognition’ system by the AAI in various airports has disappointed passengers and the many agencies handling security at the airport in Chennai with the local authorities rubbing it in by saying that they have too many other things to worry about now.
The new system, being installed first at New Delhi, Bengaluru and Varanasi airports, would enable passengers to walk into the airport, pass through the various checkpoints and board the aircraft without showing any identity card or boarding pass. They will just have to show their face to the cameras fixed in the equipment concerned at various spots.
By introducing the new technology in airports, passengers, airlines, security personnel and airport authorities would save time and energy as the scrutiny of each and every passenger by security and other personnel by checking the details in their tickets and identity cards could be done away with.
Passengers will have to download the Digi Yatra app in their cell phones, upload their selfie and authenticate their personal details with the help of their Aadhar card before entering the airport through the e-gate that would be set up at the airports where the system would be operational.
Presently, an armed uniformed personnel from the CISF would personally scrutinize the ticket and identity card of every passenger at the gates. Later, the ticket and identity card would have to be presented at the check in desk and also at subsequent check points. On days when a seven-tier security blanket is thrown, passengers will be asked to produce the documents at different places, including the aircraft doors.
Since Chennai is also not in the AAI’s list of airports where the face recognition system would be installed in the second phase before March 2023, stakeholders in Chennai are worried and feel that the southern metropolis should soon have it.
In the second phase, airports at Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune and Vijayawada will have the equipment installed to help passengers have an easy passage to the aircraft from the gates.
Enquiries with AAI officials revealed that they were too involved in fixing too many other hitches in Chennai at the moment that the face recognition software was not a priority for them now. The hiccups in the newly opened modern parking facility with provisions for charging of e-vehicles and more space for cars and two wheelers will have to be ironed out first, they say.
Also the AAI is concerned about the setting up of the second airport for Chennai. Though Paradur has been identified as the location for the second airport, land acquisition, which is the first thing to do, itself has run into problems with people of the 13 villages where agricultural land would be taken away are putting up a stiff opposition.
The villagers who have been continuously organizing protests and meeting in their localities at night hours after returning from work have now intensified their protest by donning red attire to convey the message that they will not buckle down to pressure from the authorities.