CHENNAI: Passengers travelling from Chennai airport may not 'face' the need for boarding passes, flight tickets or other papers as the Airport Authority of India is likely to implement a facial recognition verification system by 2021, according to Chennai Airport Director S Sreekumar.
The move will be part of the nation-wide DigiYatra initiative of the Central government. Sreekumar told TNIE that DigiYatra is being rolled out as pilots in Vijaywada, Varanasi, Kolkata and Pune by the Airport Authority of India.
"In the south, once it is implemented in Vijaywada, we will be studying how successful the model is and tweak it if required and then implement it in Chennai Airport. Positively by 2021," he said.
Digi Yatra is a government initiative for digital processing of passengers at airports. Passengers will be automatically processed based on facial recognition systems at checkpoints.
The entry-point check, the Security Check, aircraft boarding check and also self-bag drop and check-in will all be based on facial recognition.
Under the Digi Yatra initiative, a passenger will first have to get a unique ID by registering on the Digi Yatra portal using an approved ID proof document such as the Aadhaar, PAN or driving licence.
Once this is completed, the passenger will have to go through a one-time facial verification at an e-gate at the airport's departure terminal. Following this, the details will be stored on a centralised registration system and thereafter, the passenger's face will act as the boarding pass. Then, the passenger after dropping off baggage, if any, can directly proceed for security check.
The paperless biometric technology or Digiyatra has already been implemented in Bangalore and Hyderabad airports. Trials have also started in Delhi airport.