AAI Rolls Out Facial Recognition Technology at Four Airports by March 2022

AAI would deploy the system at Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune and Vijayawada by March 2022.


  • The proposed system is slated to launch in March 2022.
  • The travel data will not be retained in the system for more than 24 hours after the flight's departure.
  • DigiYatra will be given as optional for the passengers.

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Four airports at Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune and Vijayawada could be the first ones in India to get Face Recognition Technology-based boarding system, revealed the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Retd General V K Singh, in Lok Sabha today. The proposed system is slated to launch in March 2022. The Minister was responding to a query raised by MPs Feroze Varun Gandhi and Ram Shankar Katheria.

Implementation of the Face Recognition Technology (FRT) at airports is a part of the first phase of the Government’s ambitious DigiYatra program. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is working on the project in a phased manner to deploy the system at various airports in the country.

The current DigiYatra policy does not mandate the registration for Digi Yatra Central Ecosystem. The service is optional for the passengers, and they can continue to use the existing manual process at the airports. To register for Digi Yatra Central Ecosystem, the passenger has to provide travel details, PNR and facial biometrics through a mobile app to the Biometric Boarding System of the departing airport.

In response to the query about the data safety of the system, Minister said that the travel data shared by the passengers would not be retained for more than 24 hours after the departure of the flight. He added that the system is designed as per the industry ISO standards with the best-in-class algorithms listed under the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and it complies with all Government-mandated data privacy and data protection norms.

The facial recognition technology at airports will save the passengers from scanning their boarding pass at multiple checkpoints. Minimal human intervention in ticket checking will reduce the queue as well. Airlines would know the position of passengers at the airport. Besides pacing up the processes at the entry points, the system would also facilitate self-bag drop and check-ins, reducing the waiting time. Overall, the system is designed to make travel a paperless affair.

How to enrol for DigiYatra

The passenger has to log in to Digi Yatra Central Ecosystem and create a DigiYatra ID by providing his name, email ID, mobile number and identification card. On receiving the ID, the passenger can give this number to book the ticket. Once booked, the passenger’s details will be passed on to the departure airport by the airlines. At the airport, there will be a registration kiosk for validating the IDs. On a successful verification during the first time, the passenger will be added to Digi Yatra Central System.

While travelling, the passenger can scan his boarding pass at the e-gate. The system will validate the passenger identity by face recognition.

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Ria is a lead news writer at Aviation Scoop. She writes from dawn to dusk, reads in the evenings, and draws at some ungodly hours. She loathes human interaction and finds solace in the sweet, musky smell of old books, and rain.

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