Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Get ready to just smile to board domestic flights as DGCA notifies rules for 'digi yatra'

New Delhi: Paperless boarding of domestic flights will soon be a reality with the government notifying rules for its ambitious 'digi yatra' (DY) project. Travellers will need to generate a unique DY ID number using the aviation ministry’s portal. And after a physical verification during first time use at an airport, in future passengers will need to give this number while booking tickets and then go paperless for domestic flights at smart airports which do biometric-based verification.

International travel, however, cannot get fully paperless as passports are required to be shown at multiple points like check-in and immigration.

The voluntary biometrics (facial recognition) based access system will kick off with India’s two most tech-savvy airports at Hyderabad and Bangalore, followed by Varanasi, Kolkata, Pune and Vijaywada in the next one to three months. Other airports may follow suit but the rules are now in place to ensure that passengers who opt for DY get a similar experience at different smart airports. To be sure, the existing system of showing paper tickets and ID cards will continue at all airports to be used by passengers who do not wish to participate in the voluntary DY.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief B S Bhullar has issued an order under which passengers can create their unique DY ID using any of these I-cards: Passport; voter photo identity card issued by Election Commission; Aadhaar or m-Aadhaar issued by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI); PAN Card issued by Income Tax department; driving license issued by RTO; service photo identity card issued by state/central government, public sector undertakings, local bodies or public limited companies; student photo identity cards issued by government institutions/government recognized educational institutions; nationalised bank passbook with attested photograph; pension card / pension documents having photograph of the passenger and disability photo ID card/handicapped medical certificate issued by respective state /UT governments/administrations.
“The DY ID created will be authenticated during the first travel by the passenger at a DY-enabled departing airport. In the authentication process, the ID of the passenger will be verified and validated by an authorised security officer and activate the DY ID,” it adds.

“At the time of making flight ticket booking on the airline reservation system, online travel agents (OTA)/ global distribution (GDS), website, mobile app booking..., airline shall make a provision to collect DY ID of passenger for domestic travel,” says the order issued by, while reiterating that the current system of boarding domestic flights will also continue to be in use for those who do not wish to participate in 'digi yatra'.
22/01/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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