DigiYatra may halve check-in and boarding time at airports by year end

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DigiYatra check-in and boarding

According to the aviation ministry, it is studying proposals and will conduct extensive consultations to ensure comprehensive traveller coverage, convenience, and privacy.

Check-in and boarding time at airports may halve by the end of the year as the government is going to make unique identification such as Aadhaar, passport or PAN mandatory for booking flight tickets. The technology-based initiative – DigiYatra – will enable a traveller to opt for paper-free travel, which will aid swift airport entry and automated check-ins.

The ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) initiative aims to shorten queues at entry points, boarding areas, security checks and during exit. The automated system will link unique identification (UID) with air tickets at the time of booking and will work as a digital boarding pass, which can further be used at all the points at an airport through smart phones.

However, this high-tech feature will be optional as passengers will always have the choice to travel the traditional way by manually collecting a boarding pass from an airline counter.

AIRSEWA

The plan comes close on heels of AirSewa, a digital platform to lodge complaints against stakeholders in the aviation sector. “The ease of travel offered by opting for the digital system will serve as a pull factor for passengers as opposed to a push factor,” said minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha on Thursday while explaining the new digital initiative.

He added that a traveller using the system may zip through in 10-15 minutes versus the existing 20-30 minutes.

The government said that the identification feature is being put in place to improve security at airports and during air travel. Currently no identity is required at the time of booking, but government id cards are necessary to enter airports.

According to the aviation ministry, it is studying proposals and will conduct extensive consultations to ensure comprehensive traveller coverage, convenience, and privacy.

DIGITAL TRAVELLER WORKING GROUP SET UP

The MoCA has also set up a digital traveller working group to provide suggestions on implementing the scheme. “Within 30 days, the group would come out with a white paper and subsequently, comments from the stakeholders would be sought before finalising the norms,” Sinha said.

The minister explained that a white paper will be provided on creating seamless travel, after which comments from the public would be sought and then a decision will be made on this issue.

“Once the technical committee presents its white paper, comments from stakeholders will be invited for a period of 30 days. Thereafter, the government will finalise the rules in 30 to 60 days. A new set of rules or Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) will be prepared by the government which will state that a UID is a mandatory requirement at the time of booking a flight ticket,” Sinha said.

MOVE TO HELP EXECUTE NO-FLY LIST ON UNRULY PASSENGERS

The minister added that the move will also help in executing its proposed no-fly list on unruly passengers as it will help in tracking them.

The technical committee will also suggest a data-sharing protocol among travel portals, the airlines, airports, security agencies as well as various concessionaires such as parking and transportation providers. The digital system of travelling will not be mandatory for airports to execute, according the minister.

The government has ensured a stringent data protection mechanism before implementing ambitious digital scheme. The process will also ease the burden on CISF security men who have been engaged in keeping the airport premises safe and conducting checks at various levels.

The aviation ministry claims that such technology is being implemented by several countries and many Indian airports are ready to go ahead with it as they have been trying this on a pilot basis.

By the end of this year, all metro city airports will be readied to implement the project.

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