Digi Yatra’s Facial Recognition Technology reshapes the landscape of air travel, the impending expansion to 25 additional airports by 2024 underscores the commitment to fostering a more efficient, secure, and seamless experience for passengers nationwide. In a game-changing announcement, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia declared on Friday that Digi Yatra’s cutting-edge Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) will soon be available at an additional 25 airports by the close of 2024. The move aims to revolutionize air travel, providing passengers with a contactless and seamless journey through various checkpoints at airports.
Facial Recognition Technology
Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) stands at the forefront of cutting-edge innovations, revolutionizing the landscape of identity verification and security. Utilizing advanced algorithms and artificial intelligence, FRT analyzes facial features to uniquely identify individuals. This technology has found diverse applications across various sectors, from enhancing the efficiency of smartphone unlocking to bolstering airport security measures.
In essence, FRT operates by capturing and analyzing distinct facial patterns, such as the arrangement of eyes, nose, and mouth. This information is then translated into a mathematical representation, commonly known as a facial template, which serves as a digital signature for each individual. The speed and accuracy of FRT make it an invaluable tool for authentication processes, replacing traditional methods like passwords and PINs.
While FRT offers unparalleled convenience, particularly in sectors like law enforcement, access control, and public surveillance, it also raises ethical and privacy concerns. Striking a delicate balance between technological advancement and safeguarding individual rights remains a critical challenge. As FRT continues to evolve, its widespread adoption necessitates a thoughtful and transparent approach to address potential societal implications and ensure responsible deployment.
Digi Yatra expansion
Currently operational at 13 airports, exclusively for domestic travelers, Digi Yatra is gearing up for a major expansion. The minister outlined the phased implementation plan, with 14 airports slated to introduce the Digi Yatra facility in the first phase, followed by an additional 11 airports in the second phase in the upcoming year.
By the end of 2024, a total of 38 airports across the country will be equipped with Digi Yatra, significantly impacting the travel experience for approximately 95% of the nation’s air passengers.
To participate in this streamlined service, passengers must register on the DigiYatra app, providing necessary details validated through Aadhaar-based authentication and a self-image capture. The passenger data collected during this process is securely stored in an encrypted format, safeguarding the privacy of individuals.
Once registered, passengers are required to scan their boarding passes, with the credentials seamlessly shared with the respective airports, expediting the check-in process.
At the e-gate within the airport, passengers follow a straightforward procedure – scanning the bar-coded boarding pass. The integrated facial recognition system at the e-gate then verifies the passenger’s identity and travel document. Successful authentication grants the passenger access to the airport through the e-gate.
It is crucial to note that after passing through the e-gate, passengers must adhere to standard security clearance and boarding procedures, ensuring a comprehensive and secure travel experience.
Driving this innovative initiative is the Digi Yatra Foundation, a not-for-profit organization serving as the nodal body for Digi Yatra. Key stakeholders include the Airport Authority of India (AAI), Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL), Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL), Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (HIAL), and Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL). With technology at the forefront, Digi Yatra is paving the way for a new era of contactless and hassle-free air travel.