Digital air traveller initiative in few weeks: Minister

The government is likely to issue the requirements for its digital air travel initiative very soon, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said on Friday.

According to Sinha, the proposal under the initiative mandates that a unique digital identification number be generated at the time of booking a flight ticket.

“We are working on the digital traveller initiative and as part of the initiative the proposal that we have is that a unique digital identification number associated with PNR will be issued,” Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference here.

“That whole requirement will be issued very shortly, within a few weeks, once we are finished with consultations on all the digital standards and protocols that will be required…”

The development assumes significance as a person, whose name is included in the “No Fly” list will not able to book a flight ticket using fake identity.

In June, the government had announced its plans to the launch digital travel initiative — Digiyatra — for Indian fliers.

Digiyatra aims to link unique IDs such as Aadhaar, passport or PAN card number to the airlines’ booking PNR to facilitate a “seamless experience” of passing through airports for travellers.

Sinha that time had said the process of creating “the technical architecture” as well as the enabling regulations for a “Digital Traveller Framework” to provide a “seamless experience” of passing through Indian airports has started.

Essentially, the system involves linking the unique ID digitally at the time of booking to the airline PNR. This would allow the passenger to have all the information required for smooth passage digitally, including a digital boarding pass and be guided to the proper boarding gate.

However, Aadhaar, which has biometric details, is not going to be made mandatory and passengers would be free to use the existing methods of flight check-in.

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