DigiYatra: Passengers at 3 airports to use face as boarding pass

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Domestic passengers can now seamlessly fly out of Delhi, Bengaluru and Varanasi by registering for DigiYatra (DY) that enables paperless travel through biometric facial recognition technology (FRT), reported Times of India.

This means that a facial scan will confirm the identity of DY-registered passengers, who then do not need to show any physical ID proof. Their travel details will also be captured in this technology.

The FRT was rolled out for three airport by Union aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia at Delhi’s IGIA on Thursday.

In the first phase, 7 airports will be DY-enabled starting with Delhi, Bengaluru and Varanasi on Thursday. Then by March 2023, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune and Vijayawada airports will get this facility.
Subsequently other airports will get the same, the aviation ministry said in a statement, as per the report.

“The project envisages travellers pass through various check points at airports through a paperless and contactless processing using facial features to establish their identity which could be linked to their boarding pass. To use this facility, one-time registration on DY App is required using Aadhar-based validation and a self-image capture. The project has tremendous advantages of improving passenger convenience and ease of travel,” Scindia said.

Allaying data security concerns for people registering on the app, the minister said: “There is no central storage of ‘personally identifiable information’ (PII) keeping in mind privacy (issues). Passenger’s ID and travel credentials are stored in a secure wallet in the passenger’s smartphone itself. The uploaded data will utilise blockchain technology and all the data will be purged from the servers within 24 hours of use.”

The DY project has been conceived by the Digi Yatra Foundation under Union aviation ministry.

With domestic air traffic reviving post Omicron, long queues are back at airports right from terminal entry to check-in, security and immigration.

While using DY is optional as passengers can continue to show physical ID cards and tickets, those who use it can hope to clear some queues faster — especially terminal entry.

Delhi airport has even marked some lanes for DY-registered domestic passengers.

The roll out DY will enable airports in India to join the ranks of world class airports like London Heathrow and Atlanta that use biometric identification.

Citing the example of Dubai International airport, Scindia said, as per the report, that passengers who use this technology can save 40% time required to be spent at the airport.

“A similar technology saved nine minutes per aircraft time at Atlanta Airport. Compared to other airports (that have biometric technology), the Indian system has been made far more seamless from entry to exit and therefore will be one of the most efficient systems from across the world,” he added, as per the report by Times of India.

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