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Explained: What is DigiYatra, the contactless passenger processing system for airports

DigiYatra will be rolled out at Varanasi and Bengaluru this month, and at five airports — Pune, Vijayawada, Kolkata, Delhi and Hyderabad — by March next year. What is DigiYatra and how can people use this facility? We explain.

Contactless Digiyatra system at the Delhi airportDigiyatra is a passenger processing system based on facial recognition technology. (Express Photo)

The Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), run by GMR, Monday announced the soft launch of the Centre’s DigiYatra initiative, rolling out the beta version of its app for Android platforms. DigiYatra , the passenger processing system based on facial recognition technology, has been piloted at the Delhi airport and has had the required infrastructure set up at the airport’s Terminal 3.

What is DigiYatra and how will it work?

DigiYatra envisages that travellers pass through various checkpoints at the airport through paperless and contactless processing, using facial features to establish their identity, which would be linked to the boarding pass.

With this technology, the entry of passengers would be automatically processed based on the facial recognition system at all checkpoints – including entry into the airport, security check areas, aircraft boarding, etc.

How can people avail the DigiYatra facility?

To use this facility, passengers will need to first download the DigiYatra app. The Android version of the app is out, while the iOS version is expected to be released in the coming weeks. Users can register on the app using Aadhaar credentials, followed by a selfie with the Aadhaar card. After this, vaccination details using CoWIN credentials will have to be added to the app. Then, the person will have to scan his or her boarding pass with the QR code or Bar code, after which the credentials will be shared with the airport.

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For entry into the airport, passengers will need to scan their boarding passes at the e-gate and look into the facial recognition system camera installed there. A similar method will be applicable for entry into other checkpoints.

How is DigiYatra being implemented?

Last month, the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Civil Aviation met to discuss the DigiYatra project. The project is being implemented by the DigiYatra Foundation — a joint-venture company whose shareholders are the Airports Authority of India (26% stake) and Bengaluru Airport, Delhi Airport, Hyderabad Airport, Mumbai Airport and Cochin International Airport. These five shareholders equally hold the remaining 74% of the shares.

At various checkpoints such as security, facial recognition technology and scanners will be used. (Express Photo)

The DigiYatra Foundation will be the custodian of the passenger ID validation process. It will also define the criteria for compliance and guidelines for the local airport systems. There will be regular audits of the various compliances and guidelines (including guidelines on security, image quality, and data privacy) defined by the DigiYatra guidelines for the local airport Biometric Boarding Systems.

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Which other airports will have DigiYatra?

In the consultative committee meeting, it was proposed that in the first phase, DigiYatra will be rolled out at Varanasi and Bengaluru this month, and at five airports — Pune, Vijayawada, Kolkata, Delhi and Hyderabad — by March next year. The Airport Authority of India (AAI) will identify the airports where DigiYatra will be implemented in a phased manner.

First published on: 15-08-2022 at 01:35:46 pm
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