DigiYatra, which enables seamless movement of fliers through the airport terminal till boarding using facial recognition technology, is being used by only about three per cent of the passengers eligible for the facility at the Kolkata airport, officials at the airport said.
The airport authorities are requesting airlines to send messages to passengers to increase the use of the facility, which is primarily aimed at reducing congestion in the departure section of the terminal.
On April 1, 65 passengers had availed themselves of DigiYatra at the Kolkata airport, said an official. On Wednesday, April 12, a little more than 500 passengers used DigiYatra.
According to officials, around 18,000 of the passengers boarding domestic flights at the city airport daily are eligible for DigiYatra.
“Many passengers are not aware of the facility at the airport and this could be the reason why only about three per cent of them are using DigiYatra. So, we have requested the airlines to send messages to passengers booked on DigiYatra-enabled flights, saying that the facility is available for them,” said C. Pattabhi, director of the Kolkata airport.
“Passengers are being made aware of DigiYatra through Twitter. Also, there are kiosks of DigiYatra with staff deployed to help passengers.”
He said the outreach would be more effective if airlines sent messages to their passengers.
Pattabhi said IndiGo started sending messages to its passengers on Wednesday.
According to officials, 150 domestic flights departing from Kolkata are DigiYatra-enabled, of which 110 are operated by InidiGo.
Passengers booked on some of the flights of Air India, SpiceJet, Vistara and Go First can use the facility at the Kolkata airport, said officials.
Currently, there are three DigiYatra-enabled entry gates in the domestic section — 1A, 2B and 3A.
DigiYatra, which was launched at the Delhi, Varanasi and Bangalore airports before its rollout in Kolkata, allows paperless and contactless scanning of passengers through various checkpoints right from entering the terminal till boarding, using facial features to establish the flier’s identity.
Now, seven airports in the country offer the facility, said an official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
“The response at some of the smaller airports is good. Up to 45 per cent of the fliers are opting for the facility,” the official said.
Tour operators said they, too, were trying to make more passengers aware of the facility.
DigiYatra is meant to reduce the duration of an outbound passenger’s stay at the airport.
Passengers boarding flights at the Kolkata airport often have to stand in long queues to enter the terminal and then again for the security check during rush hours.
To use the facility, a one-time registration on the DigiYatra app is required using Aadhaar-based validation and self-image capture. A passenger has to upload the boarding pass on the app and share it with the airport from where he or she will board the flight.