The scheme aims to ensure a smooth and faster air travel experience for passengers at Indian airports.

 

The DigitalYatra (DigiYatra) scheme, proposed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to streamline and facilitate a smooth and faster air travel experience for passengers at Indian airports, is still being discussed even 10 months after it was proposed.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had in June 2017 said that the ministry had already created a Technical Committee that will submit its recommendation in 30 days and there would be a time-bound action plan for this scheme.

The DigiYatra initiative that was proposed by the ministry for a digital ecosystem that will deliver Indian air passengers a seamless, consistent and paperless service experience at every touch point of their journey in Indian airports, has gone through several rounds of discussions, but a formal plan has not been formulated by the ministry.

A senior official of the Ministry of Civil Aviation told The Sunday Guardian, “The modalities of the DigiYatra scheme are being worked out by the ministry and several rounds of discussions have already been concluded. We are in the final phase. As and when it is ready, we will let you know.”

According to the DigiYatra initiative plans, a data bank of all passengers would be created right from the time of their booking of the airline ticket till the end of their journey and this data bank will be shared by all stakeholders, like the airlines and security agencies, including immigration agencies at the airport, so that manual interference at the airport is reduced to the minimal level.

With this scheme coming into effect, passengers will be able to carry an electronic boarding pass and the stamping of boarding pass by the CISF and other security agencies could be done away with. However, the physical frisking of passengers before the security hold area would be present even when this scheme is brought into effect.

The data bank would be created using either the passport, PAN or the Aadhaar card of the individual. The data bank would store the biometrics and process the identity and security check of personnel within seconds at the airports. However, the ministry has clarified that the DigiYatra scheme will not be made mandatory for all passengers and travellers who would like to go through physical verifications would be allowed to do so.

Sources have also indicated that the waiting time at the airport for passengers would be drastically reduced once the scheme is put in place. Shrikant Kishor, CISF, DIG, at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, told The Sunday Guardian, “This system will also be beneficial from the security point of view, as now passengers try to enter the terminal building through fake or cancelled tickets, and this would be stopped.

The central data bank of passengers that will help in better security analysis. Moreover, this system will have in place every detail of the passenger—details like which gate he entered from, at which counter he got his baggage dropped, till the time he boards the aircraft. All these details will enhance security at the airports.”

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