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The Contactless Passenger Processing System For Airports


GMR’s Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) announced the soft launch of the Centre’s DigiYatra initiative, releasing the beta version of its Android app. DigiYatra, a passenger processing system based on facial recognition technology, has been tested at Delhi airport and the necessary infrastructure has been installed at Terminal 3.


GS Paper3: Infrastructure – Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

Mains Question

What is the name of India’s first biometrics-based digital airport processing system? How will it address the processing system in busy airports? (150 Words)

What is DigiYatra and how will it work?

  • DigiYatra envisions travellers passing through various airport checkpoints using paperless and contactless processing, using facial features to establish their identity, which is linked to the boarding pass.
  • With this technology, passenger entry would be automatically processed based on a facial recognition system at all checkpoints, including airport entry, security check areas, aircraft boarding, and so on.

Digi Yatra Foundation

  • It was established in 2019 as a joint venture (JV) company under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013.
  • The Foundation was established with the goal of developing the Digi Yatra Central Ecosystem (DYCE).
  • The Digi Yatra Foundation will be a pan-India entity that will be in charge of the Passenger ID validation process.
  • It will also foster consensus among India’s aviation stakeholders.
  • It would also establish compliance criteria and guidelines for local airport systems.

How can people avail the DigiYatra facility?

  • To use this service, passengers must first download the DigiYatra app. The Android version of the app is now available, with the iOS version expected to follow in the coming weeks.
  • Users can sign up for the app using their Aadhaar credentials, then take a selfie with their Aadhaar card. Following that, vaccination information must be entered into the app using CoWIN credentials.
  • The individual must then scan his or her boarding pass with the QR code or Bar code, and the credentials will be shared with the airport.
  • Passengers will enter the airport by scanning their boarding passes at the e-gate and looking into the facial recognition system camera installed there. A similar method will be used for entering other checkpoints.

How is DigiYatra being implemented?

  • The Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Civil Aviation met last month to discuss the DigiYatra project.
  • The project is being carried out by the DigiYatra Foundation, a joint venture company owned by the Airports Authority of India (26% stake) and Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Cochin International Airports. The remaining 74% of the shares are held equally by these five shareholders.
  • The passenger ID validation process will be managed by the DigiYatra Foundation.
  • It will also establish compliance criteria and guidelines for local airport systems. 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 will be audited on a regular basis.

Which other airports will have DigiYatra?

  • It was proposed at the consultative committee meeting that DigiYatra be launched in Varanasi and Bengaluru this month, and in 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 phased-in.

What are the Goals of DIGI YATRA?

  • Improve the passenger experience and make it simple and easy for all air travellers.
  • Improve throughput by leveraging existing infrastructure with the “Digital Framework.”
  • As a result, operations will be less expensive.
  • Digitize current manual processes to improve efficiencies
  • Improve current system performance and security standards.
  • Implementation of the “Digi Yatra” system, which includes a digital “ID” backed by a strong verifiable government-issued identity, such as AADHAAR.

December 2023