Blockchain In Air Travel Explored By Canadian Government

Announcements, Blockchain, Innovation | January 29, 2018 By:

The government of Canada will be testing the application of biometrics and blockchain technology in the area of air travel.

The Canadian government said it will pioneer the testing of the Known Traveller Digital Identity (KTDI) prototype, a concept that improves security and the seamless flow of people across borders. Developed in collaboration with Accenture, the prototype was launched at last week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. It uses blockchain and advanced biometrics to share personal data with public and private-sector entities.

Canada will be working with the Netherlands and the WEF to test the prototype. Canada will design a proof of concept pilot project between the two countries, demonstrating the potential of the KTDI and its impact on facilitating secure and seamless air travel. The goal is to have the technology fully operational at airports by 2020.

A new report by the WEF notes that by 2030, international air arrivals are expected to reach 1.8 billion passengers. To accommodate this growth, the public and private sectors will need to address infrastructure, human resources, and procedural constraints, while at the same time maintaining national and international security standards. This requires an integrated and trusted approach between governments and the private sector, underpinned by emerging technologies and innovations.

Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport of Canada, said air travel will greatly improve from technological advancements.

“Innovation is key to enhancing global competitiveness, mobility and productivity, said Garneau. “Leveraging new technological advancements can support risk-based approaches to public safety and security, making air travel more efficient while improving the travel experience.”

“With travelers providing access to verified personal biometric, biographic, and historical travel data at their discretion, they can assist authorities to undertake risk assessments and pre-screening in advance: essentially verifying their identities and providing secure and seamless movement throughout their journey using biometric recognition technology,” said John Moavenzadeh, Head of Mobility System Initiative at the World Economic Forum. “Not only does this provide for greater personalization and passenger-centricity in the design of services, but the passenger becomes a central actor in ensuring public safety”.

Liselotte de Maar, Managing Director in Accenture’s Travel practice, said the use of blockchain technology can foster an unprecedented level of trust between governments, businesses and travel providers that becomes stronger over time as more interactions take place across the travel ecosystem.

“The KTDI concept removes friction from traveling while ensuring greater security at each touch-point, from hotel check-in to border control,” said de Maar. “By enabling travelers to share their validated identity information through the KTDI, it allows receiving organizations the advantage of knowing in advance with whom they will interact.”