Finland Tests the World's First Digital Travel Passport
Finland is currently trialing a digital passport on Finnair flights between Helsinki and three cities in the United Kingdom.
This is reported by Yle.
The Digital Travel Credentials (DTC) system aims to streamline and optimize border control processes. DTC serves as a digital identity document for travel, serving as an alternative to physical passports. The system is set to enhance passenger service at airports and expedite the screening process. Notably, DTC offers reliable data protection and a sophisticated verification system.
Finnish passengers holding electronic documents on Finnair flights between London, Manchester, and Edinburgh will be able to pass through Finnish border control more efficiently, avoiding the need to wait in queues, as explained in a police press release.
However, users of digital documents will still need to carry physical passports when entering the United Kingdom.
"A dedicated border control line at Helsinki Airport has been reserved for testers who can use it without queuing," said Mika Hansson, Senior Advisor at the National Police Department, in the press release.
The travel document essentially serves as a digital version of the physical passport and is part of a European Commission initiative. DTC is only applied to border control at Helsinki Airport; travelers participating in the pilot project still require physical passports when arriving in the UK.
The police have invited Finnish citizens to participate in the pilot project as volunteers.
The pilot testing of DTC will continue until the end of February 2024.
The Finnish Border Guard claims that these digital passports allow for "smooth and fast border crossings without compromising security" and are as reliable as physical passports.
Once the Finnish authorities gather more information about the results of these trials, the European Commission is expected to propose the implementation of digital passports throughout the EU. The process is just beginning, but it already appears to be a glimpse into the future of travel.
Additionally, the Finnish Migration Service is working on developing a digital residence permit that will be confirmed with a barcode and digital signature.
Earlier, it was announced that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency had developed a special mobile application, CBP One, aimed at significantly simplifying the lives of refugees crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Registering in the CBP One app will minimize the likelihood of delays at the border and is the safest way to cross the Mexican-American border.