Editorial

Now you can fly paperless between Canada and The Netherlands

New Traveller Digital Identity (KTDI) scheme means travellers will be able to jet between certain airports in each country without a passport

Posted 3 July 2019 by

In a major test of public acceptance of Digital Identity in the real world, Canada and The Netherlands have agreed to trial fully paperless flying across the Atlantic.

The scheme – the Known Traveller Digital Identity (KTDI) pilot – sees Air Canada, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and certain airports in Montreal, Toronto and Amsterdam to test fully digital check-in.

‘Canada’ by Alex Indigo on Flickr

The scheme works like this: traveller Identity details usually stored on a chip on your passport will instead be encrypted and safely stored on a passenger smartphone.

Those flying can manage the data, agreeing to share it with the airline they are flying, border authorities and others. Identity will also be constantly digitally verified throughout the journey until arrival, and over time, the programme will allow visitors to work their way up to full “known traveller status”.

Set to be tested throughout 2019, with the first completely paperless itinerary expected in 2020, KTDI has heavyweight tech industry backing too, in the shape of Accenture, Vision Box and IDEMIA, with its first sponsor being The World Economic Forum.

Accenture has previously signalled its strong interest in supporting this kind of move, while paperless flight has moved to the centre of what most Digital ID commentators expect in terms of use cases.

“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,” claims the World Economic Forum’s head of mobility, Christoph Wolff.

“This project offers a solution [as] by using inter-operable Digital Identities, passengers benefit from a holistic system for secure and seamless travel.

“It will shape the future of aviation and security.”