IATA gauging India’s experience of DigiYatra to implement contactless boarding process globally | Aviation News

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is keen on implementing a contactless boarding process across the globe, inspired by India’s launch of DigiYatra. The unit is looking at similar processes of other nations as well, to establish global standards for biometric-based processes at airports. “Standards for digitalisation of admissibility but for contactless (processes at airports), we will have it in a couple of months,” a senior executive of IATA said. “One ID (for contactless biometric-enabled processes) has been working… At Bangalore airport. I am quite excited about what is happening in India as it is in line with the standards we have developed, we are developing… It is quite positive and exciting,” Louise Cole, Head of Customer Experience and Facilitation at IATA, told PTI.

IATA is a grouping of around 300 airlines, including various Indian carriers, and its members account for about 83 per cent of the global air traffic.

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“We are looking for one single standard… India is one of the parties from which we are learning,” she said. Louise Cole said the grouping is learning from the experience of mainly Bangalore airport growth and the implementation of DigiYatra in order to determine the standards. Under the one ID initiative airlines are working with IATA to digitalise the passenger experience at airports with contactless biometric-enabled processes.

The airlines’ grouping has released Recommended Practice on Digitalisation of Admissibility, which will enable travellers to digitally prove admissibility to an international destination, avoiding a stop at the check-in desk or boarding gate for document checks.

According to IATA, programmes are being implemented in various airports enabling travellers to move through airport processes, such as boarding without producing paper documentation because their boarding pass is linked to a biometric identifier.

The new standards have been developed to protect passengers’ data. Passengers remain in control of their data and only credentials (verified approvals, not the data behind them) are shared peer-to-peer (with no intermediating party).

This is interoperable with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) standards, including those for the Digital Travel Credential. Manual processing options will be retained so that travellers will have the ability to opt-out of digital admissibility processing, a release said.

Meanwhile, in response to a query about privacy concerns over the use of biometrics at airports, Louise Cole cited the example of India, saying the country has one of the largest biometric databases with Aadhaar and that the population is also comfortable with biometrics. A facial recognition system is not going to be used for surveillance of air passengers as the data is not retained, she added.

Also read – Govt launches paperless boarding initiative ‘DigiYatra’ at Varanasi Airport

On December 1, the Indian government launched DigiYatra, which allows entry of air passengers based on a facial recognition system at three airports — Delhi, Bangalore and Varanasi.

With DigiYatra, it will be a paperless entry for passengers at airports and the passenger data can be automatically processed based on a facial recognition system at various checkpoints, including at security check areas.

For availing the service, a passenger has to register their details on the DigiYatra app using Aadhaar-based validation and a self-image capture.

With inputs from PTI

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