Bangalore Airport's Terminal 2 is well known nationally and internationally and is often compared to Singapore's Changi Airport. Although such a comparison may seem ambitious, this device is particularly impressive in the technology field. Digi Yatra is a widely successful initiative implemented across Indian airports and was first conceptualized and implemented by the technical team at Bangalore Airport.

A recent TOI report quoted George Fanthome, chief information officer (CIO) of Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL), saying that the idea was the brainchild of CEO Hari Mallar. I am quoting. In 2019, the airport piloted Digi Yatra, allowing passengers to register at kiosks and check their biometrics, allowing them to seamlessly pass through terminal entrances, security and boarding gates. .


The challenge for George's team was to accurately match the flyer's biometrics against a database of 50,000 to 100,000 passengers entering within a 24-hour period. False positives were a significant concern due to the potential risk. False negatives were manageable as passengers could submit documents to CISF to verify their identity, but false positives were considered dangerous.

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The team focused on developing a highly accurate system while prioritizing data privacy. To address privacy concerns, the system was designed to delete all his data every 24 hours. Mr George said regular audits were conducted to ensure no passenger data was retained.

After spending more than a year refining the process, BIAL submitted the system to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The Ministry praised the potential of the concept, especially the ability to register once and use it at multiple airports. George said Suresh Kadakbabi, CEO of Digi Yatra Foundation, was also part of their team.

A pilot project is underway to utilize verified biometrics for self-check-in baggage at airport kiosks. George predicts that biometrics will play a pivotal role in streamlining processes and improving the passenger experience for various passengers.


He noted the government's continued efforts to integrate passports and biometrics with the aim of facilitating smooth immigration for international travelers. The need to take out a physical passport could be reduced for stamping purposes only.

However, George admits the challenge is convincing multiple airport stakeholders, including the CISF, which is responsible for security, of the benefits of technology solutions. “Travel is a stressful event for everyone for a variety of reasons, so we want to make it as smooth as possible,” he said.

Travelers often worry about whether their luggage will arrive safely at their destination. George suggests using technology to track the correct placement of baggage onboard the aircraft before takeoff, providing peace of mind for passengers.

Efforts are underway to provide personalized service to passengers. The airport aims to create a personalized digital assistant for travelers by integrating facial recognition and flight information. These assistants can provide flight updates, suggest less crowded entry gates, and provide personalized services such as dietary preferences.

Additionally, airports are exploring the possibility of facial recognition-based payments, similar to the Amazon Go model, which would allow passengers to authorize transactions using facial recognition technology.

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