Digiyatra, the Paperless Entry to Airports 

Starting from December 1, 2022, India introduced paperless entry at selected airports to make air travel hassle-free. The airport will use facial recognition software termed as “Digi Yatra” for entry, which means passengers won’t need to carry their ID card and boarding pass.

Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia launched Digi Yatra from the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. Varanasi and Bengaluru airports will also come under Digi Yatra, which is conceived to achieve contactless, seamless processing of passengers at airports based on Facial Recognition Technology (FRT).


DigiYatra envisages that travellers pass through various checkpoints at the airport through paperless and contactless processing, using facial features to establish their identity. This would be linked to the boarding pass. With this technology, the entry of passengers would be automatically processed based on the facial recognition system at all checkpoints – including entry into the airport, security check areas, aircraft boarding, etc.


Speaking about the Digi Yatra project conceived by Digi Yatra Foundation under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Minister said that the project envisages a traveller today pass through various check points at the airports through a paperless and contactless processing using facial features to establish her identity which could be linked to the boarding pass. To use this facility, one-time registration on Digi Yatra app is required using Aadhar based validation and a self-image capture. The project has tremendous advantages of improving passenger convenience and ease of travel, he said.

About the privacy features of the project, the Minister said that keeping in mind the privacy, there is no central storage of Personally Identifiable Information (PII).  Passenger’s ID and travel credentials are stored in a secure wallet in the passenger’s smartphone itself. The uploaded data will utilise blockchain technology and all the data will be purged from the servers within 24 hours of use.


For availing the service, the passengers have to register their details on the DigiYatra app using Aadhaar-based validation and a self image capture. In the next step, the boarding pass has to be scanned, and the credentials are shared with airport authorities.


With Digi Yatra, India will now stand in the ranks of world class airports like Heathrow in London and Atlanta in United States of America. Elucidating on the benefits of Digi Yatra, the Minister stated the example of Dubai Airport where passenger time upto 40 percent was saved due to this technology. A Airport similar technology saved nine minutes per aircraft time at the Atlanta Airport. The Minister also said that compared to other ports of call, the Indian system has been made far more seamless from entry to exit and therefore will be one of the most efficient systems from across the world.


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