The government plans to expand the Digi Yatra option to IndiGo and Vistara travellers for the airports of Kolkata, Pune and Vijayawada from March 2021.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has planned to launch Digi Yatra or facial biometric-based air travel in 2020 and the program is likely to commence with Varanasi airport from December, officials told CNBC-TV18.
As per the current estimate, the government plans to provide passengers travelling via IndiGo or Vistara airlines an option to opt for "seamless" travel experience at Varanasi airport from December 15.
Further, the government plans to expand the Digi Yatra option to IndiGo and Vistara travellers for the airports of Kolkata, Pune and Vijayawada from March 2021.
While discussions are ongoing with all airlines to implement the biometric-based platform, SpiceJet has so far not agreed to join the Digi Yatra program, officials added.
However, other airlines are expected to be a part of the platform by May 2021 and they have agreed on a common data format for sharing passenger information between airlines and airport operators, officials further added.
As a result, passengers of IndiGo, Vistara, GoAir, Air India, Alliance Air, AirAsia India, Air India Express, Trujet are likely to have an option of a complete paperless travel experience at the four airports from May.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation had launched Digi Yatra policy in August 2018 and had planned to implement at the four airports by early 2019. However, the project has met several delayed deadlines.
Under Digi Yatra, automated checkpoints will be set up at kerbside kiosks, airport entry gate, check-in counters, pre-embarkation security checks and boarding points.
A passenger whose Digi Yatra ID is activated will reach the airport and directly proceed towards airport entry gate where as a passenger whose Digi Yatra ID is yet to be activated will proceed towards Kerbside Kiosks for Digi Yatra ID activation.
Afterwards, the passenger will be allowed inside the terminal via facial biometric enabled-entry through E-Gate. Similar process will also be followed at the remaining check points until boarding.
A passenger opting for Digi Yatra will not be needed to show ticket or boarding pass or identity cards at the checkpoints of the airport. They will be identified by matching facial biometric at all checkpoints and ticket validation will take place through integration with airline system.
For ticket validation, Digi Yatra Foundation, a joint venture of airport operators, has already been formed to manage Digi Yatra Central Identity Management Platform (DYCIMP).
A passenger will need to register on DYCIMP and obtain Digi Yatra ID. This ID needs to be entered while booking a ticket.
A passenger opting for Digi Yatra for the first time will need to activate the Digi Yatra ID at the airport registration kiosk through ticket validation and a proof of identity in physical form will be verified by CISF.
As of end of September, site survey is complete at all four airports. E-gates and demo kiosks for Varanasi have been dispatched. Development of interface between biometric system and airlines' flight departure system is in progress.
(Edited by : Mousumi)
First Published: IST