Eight airports were chosen by the Airport Authority Of India (AAI) to test the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence in baggage screening. Pune airport was among the eight where ‘Baggage AI’ system was implemented. The AI-powered system looks to strengthen security efforts at the airport.
“Baggage AI is an artificial intelligence-based solution developed to enhance security at the airports. It is the first-of-its-kind threat detection system for security x-ray machines. This AI software technology can automatically detect various objects and other threats from the x-ray images produced during the screening of baggage and alert operatives”, commented Ajay Kumar, Director of Pune Airport.
Under the ‘Innovation for Airport Programme’, AAI selected eight start-ups from across the country to provide new methods and products for various processes at the airport. The start-ups were tasked with the development of technologies pertaining to air transport and logistics with the opportunity to test their innovations at selected airports. The start-ups, in their venture, would also receive help – in cash and kind, from the AAI.
One such start-up is Mumbai-based Dimensionless Technologies which introduced ‘Baggage AI’. Exploring the potential and possibilities of Baggage AI, co-founder Himanshu Arora says, “There are many small things like a lighter, vaping machine and more which do not appear prominently on an x-ray scan. Baggage AI can detect these objects in the luggage and show them prominently with the help of shades and colour.”
The AAI believes that Baggage AI will function as a ‘second pair of eyes’ for the security personnel assisting them in bolstering security by detecting and effectively removing the minutest of threats.
Baggage screening is not the only avenue where AI finds itself in commission. US aviation authorities have introduced AI-powered CT scanners to detect threats, facial-recognition robots are also in use at various airports throughout the world. In India, under DigiYatra project, the airports are constantly trying to present technology/AI-based solutions for different issues. Biometric Enabled Seamless Travel (BEST) is an example. It records the passengers’ faces and information and grants them automatic entry without having to go through any security checkpoints. The passengers can simply walk through security check-in and board their plane without any hassle. Since its implementation in December of 2019, BEST has successfully registered information of 2,605 passengers at the Delhi Airport.