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Passengers will soon be able to travel without a boarding pass in India under the ‘Digi Yatra’ policy. The biometric-based boarding system being implemented by the civil authorities will use facial recognition to verify the passengers’ identity. The programme is already under trial at the Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru airports.
The programme will be implemented on an ‘opt-on’ basis where passengers can choose to register on an online portal and go straight to the boarding gates. The DigiYatra ID can be generated by submitting a passport, Aadhaar card or driving license—the ID can then be used along with the flight’s PNR number to verify the passengers’ identity. Once in service, the idea behind the biometric system is to make processing faster and reduce waiting time. The service will be free of charge.
Addressing concerns over privacy, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said that the system has been tested to protect passenger privacy. “We have followed the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union,” he said. “All travel through an airport will be purged after travel.”
The system is set to be rolled out next year with Hyderabad and Bengaluru as the first airports to employ it in February. Other airports, like Kolkata, Pune, Varanasi and Vijaywada, will start operations in April.
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