Digi Yatra will be implemented at Kolkata, Pune, Vijayawada and Hyderabad airports by March 2023.

In the first phase, Digi Yatra was launched on December 1, 2022 at Delhi, Bengaluru and Varanasi airports for providing passengers contactless, paperless check-in and boarding process based on facial biometrics.

The Digi Yatra policy is an initiative launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation for biometric boarding system using the facial recognition technology (FRT). It aims at providing seamless and hassle-free experience to passengers at the airports.

Digi Yatra at Bengaluru Airport
Digi Yatra at Bengaluru AirportTwitter/Jayant Sinha

Digi Yatra's main objective is to enhance passenger experience by eliminating the need for verification of ticket and ID at multiple touch points and to achieve better throughput through existing infrastructure using a digital framework.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, informed that the project is under implementation stage.

The expenditure for the implementation of Digi Yatra is on the airport operators.

"The Ministry of Civil Aviation does not provide any budgetary support for its implementation. To give wide publicity to Digi Yatra, airport operators and airline operators are making in-flight announcements, providing help-desk support and displaying banner and films etc. at the airports. Publicity is also being done using social media. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has awarded the work for implementation of biometric boarding system at Kolkata, Pune, Vijayawada and Varanasi airports," said the reply.

Dataevolve Solutions has built the FRT-based Digi Yatra central ecosystem. It has been selected through a national startup challenge run by Niti Aayog under the Atal Innovation Mission, said the reply.

Digi Yatra at Bengaluru Airport
Digi Yatra at Bengaluru AirportTwitter/Jayant Sinha

Digi Yatra is a voluntary facility for providing passengers seamless and hassle-free experience at the airports. In the Digi Yatra process, there is no central storage of passenger's personally identifiable information (PII).

All the passenger's data is encrypted and stored in the wallet of the passenger's smartphone and shared only for a limited time duration with the airport of travel origin where the passenger's Digi Yatra ID needs to be validated.

The data is purged from the system within 24 hours of flight. Facilities with the implementation of Digi Yatra provide touchless passenger validation through FRT which results in saving time at various touch points like entry to airport, security hold area (SHA) and boarding area with no CISF intervention, informed the Ministry.