What is India’s Trusted Traveller Programme? Know how e
The Government of India is planning a scheme to allow faster immigration checks at international airports. Keep scrolling to know the details
The Indian government is coming up with a "Trusted Traveller Programme", aimed at faster immigration checks at the country's international airports. The initiative will be first implemented at Delhi and Mumbai airports on a pilot basis and will be extended to 15 airports by 2027. The government plans to implement the scheme at all international airports by 2032.
Three electronic gates or e-gates have already been installed at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport, two for arrival and one for departure. The scheme will only benefit ‘trusted travellers’ having Indian passports. The e-gates will allow travellers to quickly pass immigration checks and avoid the hassle of standing in long queues. This will greatly help authorities decongest India's international airports.
Hindustan Times (HT) has quoted several Indian officials to explain how India's new traveller verification programme will work through e-gates. A Union Home Ministry official was quoted by HT as saying, "The e-gates are only to reduce the workload or automate the process but someone at the backend must verify and approve the passenger's identity based on the immigration database. If the person is of interest, then the e-gate will reject the entry and the person will have to proceed to the manual counter."
As per the official, India's Trusted Traveller Programme will be like a modified version of the ‘Global Entry Program’ developed by the United States Department of Homeland Security. "The idea is to make the immigration clearance process simpler and quicker with the help of technology. The United States’ Department of Homeland Security has a similar Global Entry Program, which allows for expedited security and immigration clearance of pre-approved, low-risk travellers," the officer said.
It must be noted that India's Trusted Traveller Programme will apply to both arrivals and departures whereas USA's Global Entry Program only applies to arrivals. The Global Entry Program also involves a rigorous pre-verification process and in-person interviews. The modalities of the Indian system are still being worked out.
Thanks to increasing air traffic, India's international airports are coming under severe strain. According to aviation consultancy CAPA India, air traffic in India is expected to reach about 400 million passengers in 2023-24.
Last year, travellers complained about massive congestion at Delhi's IGI airport, which prompted an intervention by India's Home Ministry and Aviation Ministry. India's Bureau for Civil Aviation Security later mandated that airports dealing with more than 10 million passengers annually will have to install full-body scanners to allow faster immigration and security checks.
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