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Delhi airport to begin facial recognition trials at T3 from Friday

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Delhi airport to begin facial recognition trials at T3 from Friday

Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport will begin trial run of facial-recognition system for domestic flights from Friday.

GMR-led Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL) on Thursday said it will roll-out a three-month trial to demonstrate biometric enabled seamless travel experience (BEST) from September 6. The trial, which will be based on facial recognition technology, will be launched with Tata Group's Vistara at Terminal 3 (T3) of the IGI Airport.

"After successful completion of the trial, the paperless and hassle-free boarding service would be officially launched at T3 and subsequently at other terminals of Delhi Airport," DIAL said in a statement.

With the start of the trail, passengers' entry at T3 would be automatically processed based on facial recognition system at all checkpoints including airport entry, entry to security checks, and aircraft boarding.

A part of the Ministry of Civil Aviation's "Digi Yatra" policy, which seeks to promote "digital processing of passengers" based on facial recognition system at check points, the trial will facilitate solution to the passengers to understand the seamless flow of process. Airports in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai have already initiated the process.

Commenting on the development, the DIAL spokesperson said: "This is an integrated solution for the e-gates, facial recognition cameras, software platform from one player. It will be truly a seamless experience for the passengers. Participation in the trials is purely voluntary and at discretion of the passengers. A suitable consent form will be signed by the passengers. This trial will run for 3 months. Subsequent roll-out plans will be made."

How will facial recognition work?

The enrollment process for the passengers with valid flight tickets and government ID proofs will start at the registration kiosk, following which their facial details will be captured by the camera. Meanwhile, the documents provided by passengers will be validated by a CISF personnel present at the kiosk. He will physically check the ID proofs and confirm them on the system.

The passengers will have to scan their boarding passes or e-tickets at the departure e-gate, which will be fitted with facial recognition cameras. The e-gates will open automatically after the facial recognition process is completed and passenger can proceed towards the check-in counters to drop their bags. If they are not carrying any bags, they can head straight to security screening, where the facial recognition cameras will be installed.

Once passengers clear the security screening, they can board the flight through the dedicated boarding e-gates. These gates too will open automatically after the camera recognises the passenger's registered face.

What about passenger data?

During the trial period, the biometric details will be stored temporarily only to enable the departure process. As soon as the flight departs, the data of the registered passengers will be deleted. There will be no storage of the biometric details by the airport.

This technology is in compliance with the guidelines of Privacy-by-Design, an internationally recognised standard for privacy.

"Once the complete "Digi Yatra" platform comes into existence, it will expedite the boarding process by facilitating one-time registration by the passengers. Each time a passenger travels (anywhere in India), the concerned airport with the Biometric Boarding solution installed, can go through the system to validate their details," DIAL said.

Edited by Chitranjan Kumar

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