Airports Achieve Three Seconds per Touchpoint with the Digi Yatra App
After years of trialling, the Digi Yatra app was finally launched on 15th August 2022. The app is currently operating at Bangalore International Airport and Delhi International Airport, bringing the pair closer to an entirely contactless passenger journey.
The app utilises facial recognition technology to enable passengers to pass through airport touchpoints seamlessly. Domestic passengers at these airports will no longer be required to present their ID or boarding pass at each touchpoint, minimising contact and maximising efficiency.
All passengers must do is perform a series of simple steps before arriving at the airport. Download the app, type in the required personal details, add proof of Covid-19 vaccination, scan their boarding pass, and take a selfie. Having done this, each touchpoint should last no longer than three seconds and be entirely contactless, facilitating the passenger in a seamless journey through the airport. The potential benefits of this are countless.
Crucially for airports, the integration of this technology should accelerate the time it takes to check-in passengers allowing for less time in queues and more time for leisure in duty-free. The automated system further enables optimisation of staff within the airport as well as providing real-time data on passenger volume and location.
The Digi Yatra app was rolled out in Bangalore International Airport and Delhi International Airport as part of the first phase. The facial recognition technology is set to be further extended to airports in Pune, Vijayawada, Kolkata, and Hyderabad by March 2023 as part of the Government of India’s wider initiative to “transform the nation into a digitally empowered society” (Delhi Aiport CEO, Videh Kumar Jaipuriar).
However, since debuting privacy experts have been split by the app with some voicing their criticisms. At time of writing, India lacks Data Protection Law causing concerns around the use of passenger data. In response, a Digi Yatra spokesperson has assured that the data is “not saved on any central storage or server […] The data is encrypted and stored in the passenger’s own smartphone in the wallet of Digi Yatra App and used only if they give their consent.” The app represents great progress towards a seamless passenger journey, but it also highlights the problems that run alongside the digital transformation of the aviation industry.
George Fanthome, CIO at Bangalore International Airport will be speaking at the World Aviation Festival on “What have recent biometric trials revealed about the future of passenger technology, digital identities, and the airport/passenger relationship?” Additionally, there will be a panel discussion on “Breaking down the roadmap to a contactless, seamless airport security process” during which themes from this article will be debated between leaders in the field.
Article written by Jess Brownlow