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Biometric paperless flight boarding to launch in India in six months


India’s government has announced its policy for biometric processing at the country’s airports, with the “Digi Yatra” initiative expected to launch in April, 2019, Airport Technology reports.

Testing is expected to begin on the Digi Yatra Central Platform at the Bangalore and Hyderabad International Airports in February of next year, before the Airport Authority of India (AAI) launches the program to Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune, and Vijayawada airports.

“Under the Digi Yatra, passengers can get a Digi Yatra ID by sharing minimum details like Name, e-mail ID, Mobile number and details of one approved identity proof where Aadhar ID is not mandatory,” says Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.

A technical working committee made up of airport operators, airlines, and other stakeholders is overseeing the development of standards for digital processing, and finalized the format for Digi Yatra earlier this year.

Travelers enroll a Digi Yatra ID with biometric collection at the point of departure, or through online Aadhaar verification, with facial biometrics being stored in the Digi Yatra system in either case.

“On successful verification of the travel details and facial matching, the E-Gate will open,” explains Minister of State of Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey. “The system will also generate a token in the system combining the face of the passenger with PNR of the ticket, so that at subsequent checkpoints the ticket details will be available on face recognition.”

The biometric digital processing system is expected to ease airport congestion, and also help airports plan resource deployment with improved data.

Nearly three quarters of airports and airlines are planning to invest in biometrics, according to a recent survey from SITA.

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