In its attempt to minimise paperwork for air travel, the government is looking to roll out a digital system for airport entry and boarding flights using a flier’s Aadhaar number and mobile phone.
Under the proposed ‘Digi Yatra’ initiative, the civil aviation ministry is looking to make “boarding pass and security check-in” digital. The Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said the ministry is working on the initiative to ensure the whole air travel experience is completely digital.
“Your payment is digital, your boarding and security interactions are digital. That is the Digi Yatra concept we are working on,” he noted. According to Sinha, under the initiative, there will be no need for any paper and the traveller will be securely identified through Aadhaar number, passport or other documents.
“We have a working group established and we are very hopeful of rolling out some of these in the next few months,” the minister said. “The whole experience would be completely digital so that you would not need any paper and you would be able to book your car to the airport, get into the airport, get a digital boarding pass, board your aircraft, take a car way back and do all of that just with your mobile phone,” said Sinha.
He also stressed that the ministry is trying to understand how best to establish a uniform set of standards and protocols so that they can be applied across the system. Meanwhile, Sinha said the ministry is in the process of coming up with an approach to have a no-fly list that is based on safety. “If passengers behave in an unruly or disruptive manner and endanger the safety of all of us in an aeroplane, then we will have a way of ensuring they are not able to fly and are appropriately dealt with,” he mentioned.
Noting that the ministry is blazing a new trail on the safety-based no-fly list apart from security considerations, Sinha said it is a serious matter that needs a great deal of deliberations. The government decided to have a no-fly list in the wake of instances of unruly behaviour by air passengers, especially in the case of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad who assaulted a senior Air India staffer last month, arguing over the downgrading of a seat and thrashing the staffer with his own slippers.