IATA’s new standards for contactless travel 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published a set of industry standards to enable international air passengers to pass through all airport processes using only contactless biometric recognition technology.

This generates verified digital travel credentials and sends them to destination authorities and airlines before travelling.

The organisation’s Recommended Practice on Digitalization of Admissibility standards support its One ID contactless biometric-enabled travel initiative. It will allow travellers to prove they have the authorisation to travel to an international destination and avoid physical document and passport checks.

The system will allow travellers to create and verify a digital identity in an airline’s smartphone app, from where it can be sent to the authorities at the destination, and receive a digital ‘approval of admissibility’.

Once the airline confirms everything is in order they can leave for the airport.

IATA said: ‘The new standards have been developed to protect passengers’ data 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).’

It added the system is interoperable with the International Civil Aviation Organisation standards, including those for the Digital Travel Credential, and that manual processing options will remain, so travellers can still opt out of digital processing.

Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President Operations, Safety and Security, said: ‘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.’

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