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Watch: How Covid-19 tested the digital readiness of Bengaluru airport

13 Aug, 2020

As the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the world earlier this year, airports had to quickly deploy technology solutions to screen passengers and contain infection rates. 

The pandemic tested the resiliency of airports. Investments made in digital transformation solutions months or years prior have helped companies to not only navigate the crisis but also prepare for the new normal. 

Technologies that enable contactless solutions complied with government regulations imposed in March this year.  Even when lockdown eased across the globe, these solutions helped the airport operators, customers, security, customs, immigration and other concessionaire partners to minimise human interactions through the implementation of various technologies. 

Bengaluru airport and was among the few airports in the country to implement face identification. These solutions could take customers through an end-to-end contactless biometric-based journey. 

The airport is owned and operated by Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL). Airport Authority of India and Karnataka State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation own 26% stake in BIAL. Private companies hold 74% equity -- Fairfax Financial (54%) and Siemens Project Ventures (20%). The airport began operations in 2008. 

Also, the analytics platform at BIAL can identify crowding areas where social distancing could be compromised and alert the required authorities for safer practices.

In an interview with TechCircle. Satyaki Raghunath, chief strategy and development officer at BIAL explained how the company managed to build stakeholder confidence during the crisis.

Raghunath, who joined BIAL two and a half years ago, has previously worked with airports across the world, including at Delhi and Dubai. He also worked as the managing director of Asia region for the aviation practice of LeighFisher, a global mass transit consultancy.