by Elton Gomes
16 fully-automated “Self Bag Drop machines” have been installed at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport. Passengers will now be able to complete their baggage check-in in just 45 seconds.
The system, called Air.Go, has been designed and installed by an IT consulting firm, Materna Information & Communications SE Materna IPS. In its initial stages, this system system will be available only for Air Asia and Spice Jet passengers. The service will then be expanded to include other airlines as well.
Commenting on the new technology, the Chief Operating Officer of Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), the operator of the airport, Javed Malik said, “Continuous improvement of passenger experience at the BLR Airport has always been a priority for us and the introduction of the new Self-Bag-Drop is testimony to that. Our goal is to use technology to improve the passenger experience and to make airport operations more efficient,” Bangalore Mirror reported.
How to use the self bag drop system
A passenger will first print a boarding pass and get an eezee-tag (bag tag) from a self check-in kiosk. Once the passenger’s luggage is tagged, they will head over to the bag drop machine, where they will scan the boarding pass to initiate the bag drop process. The bag will then be measured, weighed, scanned, and automatically fed into the baggage handling system. In case of excess baggage, the passenger will be directed to a hybrid counter so that check-in and payment can be completed.
Self bag drop facility first introduced at Mumbai airport
The self bag drop facility was first introduced at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA). All airlines operating out of Terminal 1 of CSIA provided the self bag drop facility to passengers in June this year.
Mumbai International Airport Private Limited (MIAL), CSIA’s operator, extended the automated check-in facility to several five-star hotels in the city, allowing passengers to collect their boarding passes from the hotel itself.
Indian airports to use facial recognition in future
Bengaluru has installed automated check-in facilities at a time when airports across India are looking to make travel faster and simpler.
Reports in October mentioned the Digi Yatra facility wherein a mere facial scan could give travellers access to security gates and embarkation areas. The Centre plans to introduce this facility by February 2019, starting with airports at Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
The facility, which is voluntary, would require passengers to initially register themselves at a web portal by providing an identity proof, secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation R. N. Choubey told the media.
Digi Yatra initiative seeks to promote paperless and hassle-free air travel. It is a biometrics-based digital processing system for passenger entry and related requirements at the airport.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has proposed to roll out the initiative at Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune, and Vijayawada airports by April 2019.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius.
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