Air tickets booking: Govt proposes making unique ID mandatory

Best way can be to use Aadhaar, passport or PAN card: Sinha

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published:June 9, 2017 2:32 am

The government is proposing quoting of a unique identification number such as Aadhaar, PAN or Passport mandatory at the time of booking an air ticket, in a departure from the current practice where an identity card is require only at the time of entering an airport.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha on Thursday said the Ministry plans to introduce “digital unique identification” requirement at the time of booking air tickets. Currently, air travellers are required to carry a copy of their identity while entering an airport. “There are various ways of securing that unique identification. Clearly, the best way of doing it is by using Aadhaar and other ways are by using a passport or PAN card,” said Sinha at a press conference on DigiYatra, as per to a PTI report. Providing a unique identity document will enable passengers to avail a paperless and seamless travel experience.

Once a passengers book their tickets, the unique ID, along with PNR, will provide all their information and will also serve as a digital boarding pass. DigiYatra is an initiative to create digital experience at all points of journey by an air traveller. The government has set up a technical committee comprising industry stakeholders which will submit its suggestions in 30 days for implementing the DigiYatra scheme.

These suggestions will be opened for public comments for another 30 days and then translated into a time-bound action plan. Under the initiative, Aadhaar would not be made mandatory but would be an option among other digital identities. “DigiYatra initiative aims to bring together entire industry to develop a digital ecosystem that will deliver Indian customers a seamless, consistent and paperless service experience at every touch point of their journey,” Sinha said.

All aviation stakeholders – airlines, airport operators, security and immigration agencies, cab operators, retail establishment and others are working to devise digital standards which can enable seamless exchange of data and information, Sinha said. Those who provide biometric identification through Aadhaar will have to do an iris
or finger scan at the airport, while those who share other forms of ID will be provided a QR code on their mobile phones which can then be scanned at the airport.

However, passengers who wish to collect their boarding passes and skip the digital system will still have the option to do so but won’t enjoy the benefit of hassle-free travel. “If you are using the system, to potentially get through the entire airport you will be able to zip through in 10-15 min versus 20-30 minutes. We think that this will create an incentive for people,” Sinha told reporters.

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