Soon, travel around the world without showing passport, tickets at airports: Iata

By sharing the 'OK to Fly' status with their airline, passengers can avoid all document checks at counters and gates

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Published: Thu 8 Dec 2022, 4:33 PM

Last updated: Thu 8 Dec 2022, 7:01 PM

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has developed new industry standards designed to make travel a whole lot easier. Working with airlines, it seeks to digitise the passenger experience at airports with contactless biometric-enabled processes.

Part of the One ID initiative, the 'ready-to-fly' process shall be introduced at airports in the future.

This contactless method is already in place at several airports — such as boarding without producing paper documentation because their boarding pass is linked to a biometric identifier. It saves the traveller time and the hassle of having to deal with paper work.

However, in some cases, travellers may still have to prove their admissibility at check-in desks or boarding gates, with physical checks of documents such as passports, visas or health certificates.

The new process will allow travellers to digitally prove admissibility to an international destination, which means that they do not have to stop at check-in desks or boarding gates for any checks.

The One ID system will allow passengers to digitally obtain all necessary pre-travel authorisations directly from governments before their trip.

By sharing the “OK to Fly” status with their airline, travellers can avoid all on-airport document checks.

“Passengers want technology to make travel simpler. By enabling passengers to prove their admissibility to their airline before they get to the airport, we are taking a major step forward. The recent IATA Global Passenger survey found that 83 per cent of travellers are willing to share immigration information for expedited processing. That is why we are confident this will be a popular option for travellers when it is implemented. And there is good incentive for airlines and governments as well with improved data quality, streamlined resourcing requirements and identification of admissibility issues before passengers get to the airport,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice-President for Operations, Safety and Security.

How travellers can be ready-to-fly in the future:

  1. Create a verified digital identity using their airline app on their smartphone
  2. Using their digital identity, they can send proof of all required documentation to destination authorities in advance of travel
  3. Receive a digital ‘approval of admissibility’ in their digital identity/passport app
  4. Share the verified credential (not all their data) with their airline
  5. Receive confirmation from their airline that all is in order and go to the airport

Security of data

The new system have been developed to protect the data of passengers and ensure that travel remains accessible to all. Passengers remain in control of their data and only credentials (verified approvals, not the data behind them) are shared peer-to-peer (with no intermediating party).

Manual processing options will also be retained so that travellers will have the ability to opt out of the digital processing system.


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