Science & Technology

Travellers Can Use Facial Recognition To Enter Airports With Digi Yatra ID, From February 2019

| October 4 , 2018 , 16:00 IST

In a boost to the nation's initiative to go digital, from February 2019 air travellers entering airports across the nation will be able to use facial recognition biometric identification under the government's Digi Yatra initiative aimed at promoting paperless and hassle-free air travel.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu while announcing the initiative on Thursday hailed it as 'forward-looking' and 'futuristic'.

The Digi Yatra platform would be operational by February 2019 and passengers can choose to use the facial recognition biometric by creating a Digi Yatra ID. Earlier, Prabhu had confirmed that in accordance with the Supreme Court's guidelines on protecting people's identities, the Digi Yatra would not be Aadhaar based.

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“It will not just be Aadhaar-based. It will be any identity. Once you are able to establish your identity, you will be able to enter (the airport) entire life cycle of it,” Prabhu had said.

"And therefore it will be an option. If somebody does not want to reveal their identity, he can go through the normal process. So, we will not be violating guidelines (on privacy) of the Supreme Court. In fact, we will completely follow the SC guidelines,” he said.

Aimed at giving air travellers scope to plan their trips efficiently, the Digi Yatra initiative was first unveiled last year, to help travellers estimate future airfares at the time of ticket booking by identifying price trends. Other facilities include receiving relevant information regarding facilities, protocols, airline timings and queue lengths at airports.

The aviation ministry had said that air travellers would get real-time notifications about congestions and delays to have greater visibility during their journey. They would be able to navigate through the airport using digital guidance systems, interactive kiosks and augmented reality apps. The flyers would also get prompts when their luggage would reach the baggage claim belt. Air travellers would also be able to submit grievances, share experiences and provide feedback under the Digi Yatra initiative.