The Government on Thursday unveiled the 'Digi Yatra' initiative to ensure hassle-free air travel. Under the new plan, a passenger can create a Digi Yatra identity using a valid identification proof including voter card, driving license, Aadhaar among others, while booking a ticket and then after one-time verification process at the airport, the passenger’s face will be used as a mark of identity and boarding pass.
The initiative is expected to encourage voluntary adoption of the new service among the passengers to enable a paper-less and hassle-free travel experience to passengers.
A technical committee including members from state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) and representatives from airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad were given the task to formulate these standards.
Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said the initiative would be "forward-looking and futuristic" and would be launched soon.
He also said it would be voluntary for passengers on whether to opt for facial recognition biometric for air travel.
The Digi Yatra platform would be operational by February 2019, according to the ministry.
The digi-yatra (DY) system will be in addition to the current process and will not be mandatory for flyers. Only domestic flyers who wish to whizz through airports can opt for it. For this, passengers will need to register themselves on an aviation ministry portal by using any identity card like passport, Aadhaar or driving licence. On the first visit to the airport, the facial recognition will be taken. On subsequent domestic journeys, your face will be your ID and ticket. The facial data will be kept in a secure manner with common access to airports in India.
Earlier this month, Bengaluru airport announced its plans of upgrading security measures to include facial recognition. In a partnership with Vision-Box, a biometrics solutions service provider, BIAL announced that it has plans of rolling out paperless boarding for select airlines starting next year.
The adoption of facial recognition-based boarding is most likely expected to result in better security, enhancing customer experience and reduce the waiting time.