India’s Kempegowda International Airport has introduced a fully automated baggage drop-off system that will allow passengers to get express service at the baggage check-in.

A total of 16 fully automated self-bag drop machines have been installed by Bengaluru International Airport (BIAL), enabling passengers to complete baggage check-in in 45 seconds.

The move is aimed at reducing check-in queues, and makes it the airport the first in India to have a large-scale deployment of fully automated baggage drop-off units.

Integrated passenger services provider Materna IPS designed and installed the Air.Go fully automated self-bag drop machines. Initially, the service will be only made available to Air Asia and Spice Jet passengers, before being rolled out to other passengers with other airlines.

BIAL chief operating officer Javed Malik said: “Continuous improvement of passenger experience at the airport has always been a priority for us and the introduction of the new Self-Bag-Drop is a testimony to that.

“We’re excited to be the first airport in the country to offer our passengers and airlines state-of-the-art technology that will ease the process of air travel. Our goal is to use technology to improve the passenger experience and to make airport operations more efficient.”

“Our goal is to use technology to improve the passenger experience and to make airport operations more efficient.”

The automated baggage drop-off system is based on a two-step process. Passengers are first required to print a boarding pass and a bag tag (eezee-tag) at a self-check-in kiosk at the airport.

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Once the first step is completed, passengers have to scan the boarding pass at the bag drop machine to initiate the process.

The bag drop machine will then measure, weigh, scan and automatically feed the baggage into the baggage handling system.

BIAL is planning to install 32 check-in kiosks to enable passengers to print boarding pass and baggage tags.

Other technological advances being planned at the airport to improve passenger experience include a facial recognition facility for passengers.

The airport will use biometric self-boarding technology from early next year to make the boarding process paperless.