Digital travel experience initiative was launched for the Indian fliers by the government on June 8, 2017. The goal of Digiyatra is to digitally link the unique IDs such as Aadhaar, passport or PAN card to the booking PNR of airlines. This will ensure a ‘seamless experience’ of passing through the airports for the travel passengers and will also relieve queues and congestion.
The government has begun the process of creating "the technical architecture" as well as enabling regulations for a "Digital Traveller Framework" following multiple discussions and meetings with several stakeholders, according to the Civil Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha.
According to IANS, Sinha said,
The Unique ID is key to this framework and there are various ways of securing this UID like the Aadhaar, the PAN card, and the passport.
The unique IDs will be digitally linked to the airline PNR at the time of the booking by the system. The passengers will have all the information required for the smooth passage digitally. The information will involve a digital boarding pass and will also be instructed to the proper boarding gate.
Sinha said that if the passengers do a digital check-in, they can do the baggage check-in themselves. He mentioned that another mode of identification can be a ‘QR code’ which is generated on the smartphone. According to IANS, he said,
With the biometric information at the gate, the passenger could pass through seamlessly. No paper would be required.
Noting that a UID system for entering airports already exists in manual form, the minister said this would only be its digital linking with the airline PNR.
Aadhar that has the biometric details will not be made mandatory and the passengers can still continue to use the existing methods of flight check-in, Sinha said in clarification. According to IANS, he added,
Most Indians now have Aadhaar and having the biometric details in the airport will allow the passenger a seamless zip-through experience.
A technical committee will also be formed to produce a white paper on the data architecture and regulations required to be put in place. This will be produced in a month’s time, as per the Minister. The issue of data protection and the other existing IDs that can be used apart from Aadhar will also be reported to the technical committee.