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June 29, 2019 / Comments (0)

World Economic Forum to initiate travel without passport

paperless air travel

Aiming at paperless air travel, the World Economic Forum is all set to initiate document-free flying between international destinations. The Known Traveller Digital Identity (KTDI) program pilot project would allow the enrolled passengers to travel between Canada and the Netherlands using their mobile phone instead of a passport. Testing for the scheme is underway.

The air travel system across the globe is currently under pressure, with rising passenger numbers outstripping growth in airport capacity. KTDI is aiming at speeding up the flow of passengers through airports, as well as at reducing the risk of cross-border identity fraud.

According to Christoph Wolff, Head of Mobility at the World Economic Forum, international air arrivals are expected to undergo a whopping 50 percent growth by 2030, reaching 1.8 billion passengers.

“Under today’s systems, airports cannot keep up with this growth. This project (KTDI) offers a solution. By using an interoperable digital identity and other KTDI technologies we are offering travelers a holistic answer to secure and seamless travel. This will shape the future of aviation and security,” says Wolff.

Passengers enrolling for the program at the participating airports will already have their identity data encrypted. The data would be stored on their mobile phone instead of on a passport microchip. Relevant information will then be sent to airlines, border authorities and others before passengers reach the airport.

The system would require individual consent each time data is sent, giving travelers more control over their personal data than the existing passport system. KTDI will make use of biometric technology (facial recognition, fingerprinting, etc.) to ensure a seamless and paperless experience through departures, onto the flight and upon arrival at the destination.

The trials of the program will run throughout 2019. The first digitally documented end-to-end journey is expected to take place in early 2020.

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Last modified: June 29, 2019

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