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Published on: June 15, 2021, 2:39 p.m.
E-gates comes to Delhi
  • Delhi airport will install e-gates for international passengers for seamless and contactless immigration

By Yeshi Seli. Assistant Editor, Business India

Come July and GMR-operated Delhi airport will install e-gates for international passengers for seamless and contactless immigration. They are operated under the Trusted Travellers Programme (TTP), which facilitate the entry of pre-approved travellers. An e-gate is a device that (through a simple scan) validates your boarding pass, fingerprints, facial scan, etc, and collates it with the airline data (which will eliminate blacklisted passengers). At the same time, it ensures that passenger flow is regulated through automatic flap gates at the airport.

“Many airports in the US, Europe and other countries have this facility; so, it made sense for us to do the same here,” says an official from the ministry of civil aviation. “It is contactless, which is significant due to the pandemic. We welcome the facility and are sure it will ease things at the airport for international travellers.” All passengers are vetted to ensure that they meet the qualifications for using this, he adds.

These e-gates were put on trial runs at Delhi airport for three months since December 2020, following which the ministry of home affairs approved them. The second wave of the pandemic delayed the usage of these gates and now they are slated to be in operation from July onwards.

Low-risk foreign travellers will no longer need to wait in the serpentine queues at the immigration counters of Delhi airport, as eight e-gates are being installed (four at arrival and four at departure). At present an immigration clearance process takes about two minutes per passenger at counters with officials. Once the e-gates are in use, the time taken per passenger would be barely 30-40 seconds.

 Improving India’s image

“For the first few months, airport staff will be present at these gates to assist passengers,” says an official from the ministry of civil aviation. “The e-gate facility is a welcome move made by Delhi airport,” adds Subash Goyal, chairman, STIC travel group. “It will make immigration more convenient and would also help in improving India’s image globally, after the beating it took during the second wave. We should also highlight this facility through promotional videos for the world to get an idea of how we are moving with the times.” There is a need to make hotel check-ins and travel transportation contactless too, Goyal emphasises.

  • Low-risk foreign travellers will no longer need to wait in the serpentine queues at the immigration counters of Delhi airport, as eight e-gates are being installed

Meanwhile, Delhi Airport has announced the rollout of an e-gate pass facility at the cargo terminal. This too would reduce physical contact of a person, while enabling entry to the cargo complex. “This will be a contactless e-gate pass facility at the cargo terminal, which has come up in association with Celebi and DSCC, the two cargo terminal operators, as well as the Delhi Cargo Brokers Association,” says a report by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL).

The government is considering rolling out the e-gate pass facility at cargo terminals for major airports in India by end-2021. An e-gate pass will be seamless for cargo operators and obviate the need for cargo agents to go through various documentation processes and long queues for the issuance of a gate pass.

The travel and tourism sector has suffered a big setback due to the pandemic. Measures like e-gates and contactless travel will help in the sectors’ revival in the months ahead. 

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