27 JUN 2019: Has it really come to this? Passport free travel? Toronto Pearson and Montreal Trudeau airports, along with the World Economic Forum (WEF), the governments of Canada and The Netherlands, and aviation industry stakeholders from both countries have announced a pilot project which will allow for paperless travel between the two countries for the first time.

The Known Traveller Digital Identity (KTDI) pilot will be the first initiative to use a traveller-managed digital identity to enable paperless travel internationally.

This pilot has been enabled through a collaborative effort between government and industry, including border authorities, airports, technology providers, and airlines, to create a system for more secure and seamless travel. Along with Toronto Pearson, Montréal-Trudeau International Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Air Canada, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, are participating in the trial.

"Toronto Pearson is the most connected international airport in North America and the fifth-most connected airport in the world," said Howard Eng, president and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), operator of Toronto Pearson.

"We will grow to serve some 85 million passengers by the mid-2030s, and to do this successfully, collaboration, innovation, and a focus on the passenger must be our priorities. This pilot program is emblematic of industry and government's shared commitment to move people safely, securely, and efficiently."

A WEF initiative, KTDI aims to provide a more convenient and frictionless travel experience for passengers while also allowing them to have greater control over their personal data. The identity data that is usually stored on a chip on a traveller's passport will instead be securely stored and encrypted on the traveller's mobile device.

Travellers will be able to manage their identity data and consent to share it with border authorities, airlines, and other pilot partners ahead of the trip. Using biometrics, the traveller will then be verified through every step of the journey until arrival at the destination without the need to use a passport, thus ensuring a more seamless travel experience.

The KTDI platform will first be integrated with partner systems and tested internally throughout 2019. The first end-to-end paperless journey is expected to take place in early 2020.

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