TheNFAPost Podcast

Hyderabad, NFAPost: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc, going contact-less and electronic is the name of the game. Many organizations, across sectors, have adopted novel ways of introducing a digital and contact-less way of doing business. 

It goes beyond any doubt that the transportation and travel sector, mainly the aviation industry, has been at the forefront of this new-age. 

From contact-less airport transfers to digital verification to ensure safe flying, airlines and airports have taken safety a notch higher during this pandemic. 

In a first in the country, the GMR Hyderabad International Airport (GHIAL), apart from offering an end-to-end contact-less boarding experience for safe travels, has also scaled up its NETC (National Electronic Toll Collection) FASTag Car Parking in the airport premise. 

This contact-less parking facility is in collaboration with NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) integrating 10 NETC FASTag Issuer banks and will go live with other issuer banks in the next few weeks. 

With this development, Hyderabad International Airport now offers India’s first and only fully contact-less airport car parking experience for passengers and visitors offering a high standard of safety with contact-less toll transactions. 

The NETC FASTag solution is based on a simple to use, reloadable electronic RFID tag which enables automatic deduction of applicable parking charges, while one drives through the car park without stopping for any cash transaction. 

This, at Hyderabad International Airport, offers ease of payments and reduces queuing at the entry and exit of the parking lot apart from negating human intervention.

How the system works

This automated system entails a customer buying the NETC FASTag, which is linked to a prepaid account. The tag employs Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) technology and needs to be affixed on the vehicle’s windscreen after the tag account is active. 

The RFID Tag is mapped with NPCI by the issuer bank(s). The subscriber of this system can use the parking without any manual intervention, such as waiting for a parking receipt at the entry or making cash/credit card payment at the exit. 

There is no additional cost to customers with respect to the parking fee. One has to just purchase an one-time tag which does away with the wait time at entry and exit.

Dedicated NETC FASTag lanes are in place at entry. When a user arrives through this lane, the strategically placed RFID reader will capture the tag with the timestamp and store the details in the local database. 

While exiting, the same will be reconciled and the chargeable parking fee is automatically deducted allowing the passengers to virtually zip through the parking lot in no time.  Post completion of every transaction, the user will receive SMS on the deducted amount.

Speaking on this development, Pradeep Panicker, CEO, GHIAL, said the testing was done with ICICI Bank as a service provider and more banks would follow suit.

“As a part of our commitment to providing a safe airport experience during COVID-19 pandemic, we are happy to announce that now passengers and visitors can avail a fully contactless car parking experience. We have tested first with ICICI Bank and now opening up to all the balance issuers. With this customers holding any bank NETC FASTag could zip through the airport car parking with zero-contact transactions having full control over their safe travels,” he added. 

Until the move kicks pace, the traditional mode of transaction with a digital payment over-the-counter option will also be available. 

Praveena Rai, Chief Operating Officer, NPCI, said, “We are delighted to associate with GHIAL to launch the first-of-its-kind contactless parking. We believe this service is set to make a hassle-free airport travel experience for customers thereby completely eradicating the need to deal with physical receipts. 

“By venturing into the safe and contactless car park mechanism, customers would get rid of producing cash at the exit and long queue. We are confident that this collaboration will lay the foundation for empowering vehicle owners to go contactless and experience the innovative airport parking facility. In the COVID prevalent situation of current times, this will offer safety in making digital payments as well,” Rai added. 

Hyderabad Airport handles 12 million passengers per annum (MPPA) and 1,50,000 MT of cargo every year. A capacity increase to accommodate over 40 MPPA is being developed in a phased manner. 

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