DigiYatra: Aadhaar-linked seamless air travel to begin next year

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Come 2018, domestic flyers out of Kolkata, Ahmebadad and Vijayawada can experience a seamless digital experience via DigiYatra initiative launched to promote the government's vision of a digitally empowered society.

Image for representation only

DigiYatra, an ambitious project by the government of India will be first initiated in Kolkata, Ahmebadad, and Vijayawada as a pilot project.

The initiative comes closely in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of a Digital India.

Airports Authority of India (AAI) will implement "digi yatra" programme as a pilot project early next year from these three airports, reports TOI.

As per plans, the "DigiYatra" scheme will link the Unique Ids such as Aadhaar, passport or PAN card of the Indian citizens to the airlines' booking PNR.

The automated system will link unique identification (UID) with air tickets at the time of booking. It will then work as a digital boarding pass, which can further be used at all the points at an airport through smartphones.

This will help a seamless travel experience for the flyers and help give relief to the queues and congestions that have become a norm at airports across India.

The Civil Aviation Ministry has emerged with this initiative after six months of comprehensive discourse with various ecosystem players and hopefully, it will help towards making air travel easier, especially for the frequent flyers.

The advantages of DigiYatra

  • Check-in and boarding time at airports may halve by the end of the year.
  • The technology-based initiative will enable a traveller to opt for paper-free travel, which will aid swift airport entry and automated check-ins.
  • The UID linked with air tickets will work as a digital boarding pass and can be used at all the points at an airport through smartphones.
  • This initiative will aim to shorten queues at entry points, boarding areas, security checks and during exit.
  • As of now, this high-tech feature will be optional. Passengers will continue to have the option of travelling the traditional way by manually collecting boarding pass at airline counter at the airport.
  • The time taken for the traveller to avail Digiyatra will be 10-15 minutes versus the 20-30 minutes of the manual check-in method.
  • The identification feature will also improve the security at airports during air travel. Currently, identification is required only at the time of entering the airport and not for booking.
  • The move will also help in executing the proposed no-fly list on unruly passengers of the Aviation Ministry as it will help in tracking them.
  • The aviation ministry is conducting extensive consultations. This is to ensure comprehensive traveller coverage, convenience, and privacy through a stringent data protection mechanism.
  • The data-sharing protocol will also be among travel portals, security agencies as well as various concessionaires such as parking and transportation providers, thus helping in the seamless travel of the flier.
  • The burden on CISF security men engaged in keeping the airport premises safe and conducting checks at various levels will also be significantly reduced.
  • The MoCA is hopeful that all metro city airports will be within the purview of Digiyatra by the end of this year as many Indian airports are ready to go ahead with it as they have been trying this on a pilot basis.

The platform will be built on 4 key pillars, like Connected Passengers, Connected Airports, Connected Flying and Connected Systems which can make it possible over a period of time for passengers to:

Plan their trips efficiently by identifying price trends and estimate future airfares at the time of ticket booking.

Optionally link their Aadhaar to airlines and other ecosystem players at the time of booking for faster airport entry and automated check-ins without requiring any paper-based interventions.

Walk-through security scanners swiftly owing to advanced biometric security solutions.

Receive relevant information pertaining to various facilities, protocols, airline timings, queue lengths at airports etc.

Engage in customised digital offerings at experience zones.

Get real-time notifications about congestion and delays to have greater visibility on the next step of the journey.

Conveniently navigate through the airport using digital guidance systems, interactive kiosks and augmented reality apps.

Stay connected during flights and indulge in immersive experiences. Also book in-flight services and destination based offerings digitally.

Get a prompt when their luggage reaches the baggage claim belt and submit grievances, share experiences and provide feedback.

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