Delhi International Airport Launches Innovative DigiYatra App
As the world changes and moves towards an innovative future, so do many other industries — including tourism. One of the latest advancements in the world of travel is the introduction of the DigiYatra app, which improves the passenger check-in and boarding experience.
The app is already being lauded as the future of travel and is expected to develop and launch across more airports in the future. For now, both Indian citizens and permanent residents can test out and take advantage of the DigiYatra app, but travelers who have an Indian visa may soon be eligible as well.
Here is everything you need to know about this groundbreaking new concept.
How the DigiYatra App Works
The DigiYatra application was originally developed through a partnership between the Ministry of Civil Aviation and multiple engineers. The application was originally rolled out in a select number of airports (including Bengaluru and Delhi) starting in 2019, and nearly 20,000 passengers got to test it out during the trial phase.
Interestingly, DigiYatra is an endearing combination of two words: Digi for digital and Yatra, which means a pilgrimage or journey in Sanskrit.
The concept of DigiYatra was in the works for a while, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the development, especially when experts realized that many sectors of the travel industry — including check-in and registration at the airport — needed a complete transformation. Thanks to these developments, DigiYatra is completely paperless and contactless.
The application is a Biometric Enabled Seamless Travel Experience (BEST) system that relies on facial recognition technology. By scanning the traveler’s face, DigiYatra can quickly pull up information about the passenger’s background (identification), where they’re going (boarding pass), their health record (proof of vaccines), and more. In fact, applications such as DigiYatra will soon make immigration kiosks and check-in counters a thing of the past.
Pradeep Panicker, the CEO of Hyderabad International Airport, noted that “The Digiyatra initiative envisages airline travelers, a speedy, hassle-free, digitally unified air travel experience across all stages of the journey. It is a milestone in the history of Indian aviation.”
Getting Started With App
To get started, travelers will need to create an account using their Aadhaar information (India’s biometric ID system), then take a selfie with their Aadhaar card. From there, users can upload their vaccination data and boarding pass. This information will then be sent to the relevant authorities (such as the airport), and the traveler will be granted access to DigiYatra’s amenities.
After registering on the application, travelers will be able to pass through various checkpoints at the airport, including the entrance, immigration kiosks, and Security Hold Area (SHA). The DigiYatra works by having the traveler scan their app code and look into the facial recognition system at each e-gate (electronic gate) checkpoint.
By initiating the DigiYatra system, airports will be able to speed up the boarding process drastically. Travelers will only need to spend three seconds at each e-gate, which is a radical improvement over current conditions.
Likewise, the DigiYatra app will have stringent safety and privacy measures. The foundation that created the application noted that there will be regular audits and tests of the compliance system, which includes a thorough examination of loopholes, data privacy, and other security risks.
Where Travelers Can Find the DigiYatra App
The Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) was the first airport that implemented the app’s soft launch and was available in Terminal 3 on August 15, 2022. The launch coincided with India’s 75th Independence Day and was met with great excitement.
Besides Delhi, the DigiYatra app was also launched at Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore, and there are plans to roll it out in Hyderabad soon.
Hari Marar, CEO of the Bangalore International Airport, announced: “We are glad to be part of the first phase rollout… As the new gateway to India, BLR Airport is keen to be at the forefront of change and innovation.”
However, it doesn’t stop there. The DigiYatra Foundation is a joint-venture company that includes six shareholders: the Airports Authority of India, as well as Bangalore Airport, Delhi Airport, Hyderabad Airport, Mumbai Airport, and Cochin International Airport.
Eagle-eye experts believe that Mumbai and Cochin International Airports will soon follow suit and also implement the DigiYatra app across their establishments, but this will most likely happen in early 2023. The Airport Authority of India (also known as the AAI) stated that they will identify and announce subsequent airports that will implement the DigiYatra app.
At the moment, the DigiYatra application is currently only available on the Google Play store but will soon be released on Apple’s App Store as well.
While the process of signing up for DigiYatra is voluntary (i.e., travelers may opt to use their regular passports for travel), we are sure that the application’s convenience and advancement are a step toward the future of travel.