Use your face to zip through airports


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: DigiYatra initiative

Mains level: Government interventions in the civil aviation sector in recent years and its impact on overall transportation sector


Digi Yatra Facility

  1. A mere facial scan will soon enable air travellers to skip long queues and zip through various check points at airports in the country.
  2. The Centre is set to introduce the “Digi Yatra” facility to start with at the Hyderabad and Bengaluru airports in February 2019.
  3. The facility which is voluntary would require passengers to initially register themselves at a web portal by providing an identity proof.
  4. The travellers would then be required to undergo a one-time verification at an airport.
  5. Following which, the individual’s facial identity would be captured and mapped onto a newly created “Digi Yatra” profile and a distinct identification number would be generated.
  6. Passengers would then have to provide this identification number at the time of purchasing an air ticket, to avail the paperless access facility.
  7. The passenger’s travel history would be “purged” after the completion of a journey and that the “Digi Yatra” programme would comply with the European Union’s Data Protection Regulation.

Scan a QR code

  1. The facility would enable travellers to enter the airport building by scanning a QR code on their mobile phones, after undergoing facial recognition.
  2. Once inside the airport, a passenger would be able to self check-in, drop baggage, pass through e-gates to access security and embarkation areas with just a facial scan, thus obviating the need to produce a boarding pass at every step.
  3. However the travellers would still have to undergo mandatory security checks including frisking.
  4. The web portal is scheduled to be ready by February 2019 and Hyderabad and Bengaluru airports would be the first to implement the digital processing of passengers.
  5. The facility would thereafter be also made available at four other airports of Kolkata, Varanasi, Vijayawada and Pune.
Digital India Initiatives
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