A collaboration between border authorities, airports, airlines and technology companies has resulted in the first pilot project for paperless travel that utilises a traveller-managed digital identity instead of a passport.
Called Known Traveller Digital Identity (KTDI), the platform will be internally trialled on travel between Canada and the Netherlands in 2019, with its full debut expected early next year.
Designed to make travel more secure and seamless, the initiative takes details normally stored on a passport chip - specifically biometrics - from a traveller’s mobile phone, assuming the passenger consents to sharing their personal data with border controls, airlines and other partners in advance.
“By 2030, international air travel is expected to rise to 1.8 billion passengers, up 50% from 2016. With current systems, airports cannot keep up,” said Christoph Wolff, Head of Mobility at the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is partnering with the Canadian and Dutch governments on the initiative.
“This project offers a solution. By using interoperable digital identities, passengers benefit from a holistic system for secure and seamless travel. It will shape the future of aviation and security.”
After establishing a “known traveller status”, passengers will be able to reuse their digital identity to facilitate “more streamlined and tailored interactions with governments, airlines and other partners”, WEF said in a statement.
Other partners on the program include Air Canada, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, YUL Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
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