TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The World Economic Forum (WEF), in cooperation with the Canadian and Dutch governments, launched a pilot project on June 26 that allows travelers to fly internationally without having to present their passports, Global News reports.
"The Known Traveller Digital Identity" (KTDI) is the world's first platform to incorporate blockchain-based and biometric technology to create a paperless and frictionless air travel experience. It is now being tested at Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL).
KTDI securely stores encrypted information on passengers’ mobile devices, allowing them to control their identity data and manage whom they share it with. It also uses biometric facial recognition to continuously verify the data at every checkpoint of the journey, without the need for passengers to present their physical passport, the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) explains.
Passengers will then establish a “known traveller status” by accumulating “attestations,” which are claims proven and declared by trusted parties such as border authorities and recognized airlines, creating a reusable digital identity that streamlines passengers’ interactions with various parties.
Over the last five years, Montréal Airport has seen a 33 percent increase in travelers, around half of whom arrive on international flights. It is estimated that the number of international travelers globally could reach 1.8 billion people by 2030, a 50 percent increase from 2016, according to the news agency.
Canada's deputy minister of transport, Michael Keenan, stated that “digging around for the passport and flipping it open is simply not going to meet the challenges of tomorrow,” reports the Global News. According to Christoph Wolff, chief development officer at WEF, “This project offers a solution. By using interoperable digital identities, passengers benefit from a holistic system for secure and seamless travel."
KTDI is still in its testing stage, and travelers are still required to bring their passports just in case. The project is expected to be implemented at both Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) by early 2020.