Barcode scanners installed at Delhi Airport to check entry with fake tickets

Barcode scanners will stand in the way of trespassers at Delhi airport’s entry gates following the security scare over frequent incidents of people sneaking in with bogus e-tickets.  Authorities are introducing the pilot project close on the heels of intelligence warnings that in the absence of a biometric system- the country’s most sensitive airport is under serious threat. According to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), responsible for guarding all the commercial airports in India, 23 people managed to enter the facility with fake digital tickets in 2015, while the same number of incidents were reported in the first eight months, this year.

An Italian national managed to slip into the airport using a forged e-ticket to see-off his girlfriend, on the eve of Independence Day, when the area was on a high alert.
The man had a ticket to Moscow for August 16, but he changed the date to the 15th using a photo-editing software in a bid to gain entry. He was later caught in the check-in area.

The barcode readers will allow airlines and CISF to track the movements of every traveller who enters the terminal. This step was taken after the security forces wrote to the Ministry of Civil Aviation regarding concerns raised on misuse of e-tickets.
“This system will register information of a passenger when he or she enters the building, during check-in process, after security check and finally after crossing the boarding gate,” a senior CISF official said. “Movements will be tracked at every level and details will be shared with CISF and airlines.” During the trial run, the scanners will be installed at two or three gates of the Terminal-1D building for domestic departures.

The airports in Bengaluru and Hyderabad have already tested the technology.
The development comes against the backdrop of deadly terrorist attacks this year at airports in Turkey and Belgium, as well as in Punjab’s Pathankot air force station. The government announced a high-level security audit after the Intelligence Bureau and CISF flagged gaping holes in the system.  In July, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha said the CISF had asked for uniform electronic tickets with barcodes as well as barcode readers at the departure gates. Later, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security issued instructions to the airport operators to install 2D barcode scanners.