As the country on Thursday launched the Digi Yatra programme to achieve contactless, seamless processing of passengers at airports based on Facial Recognition Technology (FRT), civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia assured it would ensure data security.
“Initially we had a centralised server system, which housed all the data. But then owing to concerns of privacy and data theft, we moved it to a decentralised system to house the Personally Identifiable Information (PII),” said the minister.
All that a passenger wishing to travel using Digi Yatra needs to do is upload their information on Digi Locker App to get a verification code. Post that, they have to enter their Aadhar details and take a selfie to create a secured encrypted account on their mobile phone.
However, this needs to be done 24 hours before a flight. The passenger has to pass on his information to the airport where the embarkation is happening.
And once that is done, they go through a seamless process, right from the entry point to cabin baggage to checked-in baggage to finally proceed to the boarding gate.
The project envisages that travellers may pass through various checkpoints at the airports through paperless and contactless processing, using Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) to establish the identity linked to the boarding pass.
“There is no central storage of PII. The passenger’s ID and travel credentials are stored in a secured wallet on the passenger’s smartphone itself. It is presently being launched for passengers on domestic flights,” said Scindia.
Digi Yatra has been launched at three airports, namely Delhi, Bengaluru and Varanasi. Over the next few weeks, it will be implemented at Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune and Vijayawada by end of March 2023.
“As these seven airports take off, we will then start rolling it out across other airports in India,” the minister said.
The technology would be subsequently implemented across various airports in the country.
Also, depending on passenger sensitisation, it might be made mandatory.
“Digi Yatra ushers new era in Indian aviation to realise the objective of Digital India. This initiative stands to revolutionise customer experience and globally position Indian aviation at the forefront of efficiency, change and innovation”, partner business consulting for mobility & logistics Practice at KPMG in India, Girish Nair told Business Today.
In several other airports such as Changi (Singapore), Narita (Japan), Atlanta (US) and Heathrow (UK), the technology has been rolled out piecemeal. But it has helped airlines save up to nine minutes.
The India experiment is larger in scope.
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