Digi Yatra facility to be launched at Patna, 13 other airports soon

Passengers’ data is stored in their phone only and anyone can control it by changing setting of his or her mobile, as it is kept in an encrypted format in the Digi Yatra app

Digi Yatra at Patna Airport

New Delhi: With the Digi Yatra Foundation (DYF) likely launch the facial recognition technology (FRT) at 14 more airports, including Patna’s Jayaparakash Narayan International Airport (JPNI), air travellers will have contactless entry on as many as 28 airports by the end of this month.

The new airports where digi yatra facility is to be rolled out are Bagdogra, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Dabolim, Indore, Mangalore, Patna, Raipur, Ranchi, Srinagar, Trivandrum and Vishakhapatnam.

Officials of Digi Yatra Foundation said that they were striving hard to make the FRT facility more user-friendly. The facility provides contactless, seamless movement of passengers at various check points at airports. There are about 5 million air travellers who use the FRT facility.

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Currently, the Digi Yatra facility is available for the air passengers at Delhi, Bengaluru, Varanasi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Vijayawada, Pune, Mumbai, Cochin, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, and Guwahati airports.

Digi Yatra Foundation is a not-for-profit body entity and it has been made the nodal agency to equip the domestic airports with FRT facility, which was introduced in December 2022.

Officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said that Digi Yatra is gaining popularity slowly in view of passengers’ apprehension about privacy of their data. However, DYF chief executive officer (CEO) Suresh Khadakbhavi clarified that Digi Yatra does not have any passengers’ data. “The data is stored in the user’s phone only and anyone can control it by changing setting of his or her mobile,” he said, adding that the data shared by a passenger for Digi Yatra is stored in an encrypted format.

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The DTF official said that a passenger has to register his or her details on the Digi Yatra app using Aadhaar-based validation and a self image capture for using the facility. In the next step, the boarding pass has to be scanned and the credentials are shared with the airport.

The passengers, willing to use the facility has to first scan the bar-coded boarding pass and the facial recognition system installed at the e-gate after verification of passenger’s identity and travel document. Once it’s done, the passenger can enter the airport through the e-gate.

“However, the passenger required adhering to other protocols in a normal way like clearing the security and boarding the aircraft. Personnel at the airports have been directed to enrol passengers only with their informed consent,” he explained.

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The foundation has representatives from the AAl, Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL), Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (HIAL) and Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL).

India is one of the fastest-growing civil aviation markets in the world particularly due to rise on the number of air traffic. In 2023, there were more than 15.2 crore domestic air passengers.

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