Just imagine – No need to stand in long queues to pass multiple security checkpoints during the flight boarding process or checkouts at the airport. A seamless entry and exit without any human intervention.

With passenger boarding across airports globally reaching 4.8 billion prior to COVID-19, it was becoming a challenge to perform security checks quickly and effectively. Not only is it frustrating for the passenger, but it is in large part a waste of highly skilled security personnel time at the airport as well. As we are learning to live with the pandemic and trying to get rid of it, thanks to the vaccine rollouts, the passenger numbers will eventually return to the pre-pandemic growth trajectory. Apart from that, COVID-19 also highlighted the need for ‘touchless’ security clearance methods for maintaining hygiene while passing through airport security check points.

One might ask – How is this possible? Well, the answer lies in rapid digital transformation and changing consumer behavior over the past few years. Adding to this are high adoption of mobile / smart phones, use of cloud for storing identity data and acceptance of biometrics for identity verification.

Digital Travel Credentials

Digital Travel Credential (DTC) is a digital abstract of the ePassport, compliant with international aviation standards defined by ICAO. These standards are globally accepted for both physical and virtual identity proofs submitted while crossing borders (during air travel). A digital travel credential tightly binds an individual to their digital identity. It provides high assurance authentication and reduces touchpoints for low-risk travelers using PKI and secure identity verification techniques. DTCs are available on mobile making them highly scalable and easy to use.

DTCs assist in border automation processes, a large initiative worked upon by various governments across the world, by facilitating travelers to navigate through airport/border check points without any security personnel intervention (unless necessary). Also, DTCs provision passenger data to aviation stakeholders in advance, to support biometric matching through controlled checkpoints, to facilitate biometric-based boarding and assist in improving pre-arrival security and/or risk assessment. To understand what is possible, please see the Self-service traveler experience for border clearance video (Concept by: CBSA, Entrust and WorldReach Software).

eMRTD as foundation for DTC

The digital ID conforms to ICAO’s NTWG (New Technologies Working Group) standards and uses the identity data stored in the chip of an ePassport. These passports are a type of eMRTD (electronic machine readable travel document) containing a contactless chip with an antenna to store traveler information along with their photograph. The data is protected by PKI cryptographic technology and is d­igitally signed by the holder’s CSCA (Country Signing Certification Authority) for authenticity and to prevent it from being compromised. With such high levels of assurance, an ePassport is a strong credential used for creating DTC.

Entrust Identity ensures security by offering trusted digital identities like DTC for travelling and border crossing. Additionally, our solutions also benefit citizens and government agencies by facilitating strong credentials for licensing, voting and accessing a wide range of entitlement programs and services. To know more please see our Digital Citizen Security webpage.