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Idemia grabs a piece of Digi Yatra airport biometrics rollout

Thales targets market share at Paris Air Show
Idemia grabs a piece of Digi Yatra airport biometrics rollout

Idemia has won a contract with GMR Group, which operates airports in Delhi, Hyderabad and Goa, to provide facial recognition for GMR’s implementation of Digi Yatra.

Digi Yatra is a program in which registered travellers can complete checks at several touchpoints using face biometrics instead of exchanging a physical document.

Idemia worked with Delhi International (DIAL) on a live proof-of-concept over the past year and a half, according to the announcement, and checks with the Digi Yatra app were reported last August at Delhi and Bengaluru airports.

The new contract will see facial recognition deployed for participating domestic passengers going through terminal entry and security clearance checks at all three airports. The company says these contactless processes are faster, more hygienic and efficient, and respect user privacy.

“Capturing the biometrics of people on the move — without slowing them down, especially at airports where long queues can lead to costly delays — is crucial,” GMR CEO Videh Kumar Jaipuriar. “We are glad to partner with Idemia’s best-in-class Passenger Flow Facilitation solution, which will enable and speed up passenger clearance and increase security with embedded anti-spoofing capabilities with the least manual intervention.”

Meanwhile at the Paris Air Show, Thales is pitching its facial recognition pods for Digi yatra implementations.

The company says its “Fly to Gate” airport biometrics installations can cut boarding time by 30 percent.

“The DigiYatra app on your phone will allow you to register your boarding pass, scan your face, it authenticates the face with your biometrics in Aadhar and registers yourself as a passenger enabled by DigiYatra,” says Ashish Saraf, VP and country head for India, Thales. “Now once you are at the airport, your face is your boarding pass. So when you are at the airport, you can enter using your face because it’s already authenticated with your Identity. You will see separate DigiYatra gates at our airports which already exist.”

Questions about the broader data collection practices of the Digi Yatra program are not subject to Right to Information law, India’s government recently stated in response to a records request.

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