Arriving at the Airport ‘Ready to Fly’ is Closer to Reality with New Industry Standards

3-minute read

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has developed industry standards which will bring the aim of having travellers arrive at airports ready-to-fly one step closer to reality.

The newly released Recommended Practice on Digitalization of Admissibility will enable travellers to digitally prove admissibility to an international destination, avoiding a stop at the check-in desk or boarding gate for document checks.

Under the One ID initiative, airlines are working with IATA to digitalize the passenger experience at airports with contactless biometric-enabled processes.

According to IATA, One ID introduces an opportunity for the passenger to further streamline their journey with advanced sharing of information and a contactless process at the airport based on biometric recognition.

Passengers will be able to prove their identity and prove they meet the requirements for travel prior to departure and then identify themselves at each airport touchpoint through simple biometric recognition.

IATA advises that One ID aims to offer a consistent, seamless experience for passengers across airlines, airports, and governments.

Programs are already in use in various airports enabling travellers to move through airport processes such as boarding without producing paper documentation because their boarding pass is linked to a biometric identifier.

But in many cases, travellers would still have to prove their admissibility at a check-in desk or boarding gate with physical checks of paper documentation (passports, visas and health credentials, for example).

The Digitalization of Admissibility standard will advance the realization of One ID with a mechanism for passengers to digitally obtain all necessary pre-travel authorizations directly from governments before their trip.

By sharing the “OK to Fly” status with their airline, travellers can avoid all on-airport document checks.

“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. The recent IATA Global Passenger survey found that 83% of travellers are willing to share immigration information for expedited processing. That is why we are confident this will be a popular option for travellers when it is implemented. And there is good incentive for airlines and governments as well with improved data quality, streamlined resourcing requirements and identification of admissibility issues before passengers get to the airport,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security.

What travellers will be able to do in future:

  • Create a verified digital identity using their airline app on their smart phone;
  • Using their digital identity, they can send proof of all required documentation to destination authorities in advance of travel;
  • Receive a digital ‘approval of admissibility’ in their digital identity/passport app;
  • Share the verified credential (not all their data) with their airline;
  • Receive confirmation from their airline that all is in order and go to the airport.

Data Security

IATA advises that the new standards have been developed to protect passengers’ data and ensure that travel remains accessible to all.

Passengers will remain in control of their data, and only credentials (verified approvals, not the data behind them) will be shared peer-to-peer (with no intermediating party).

This is interoperable with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) standards, including those for the Digital Travel Credential. Manual processing options will be retained so that travellers will have the ability to opt out of digital admissibility processing.

“Travelers can be confident that this process will be both convenient and secure. A key point is that information is shared on a need-to-know basis. While a government may request detailed personal information to issue a visa, the only information that will be shared with the airline is that the traveller has a visa and under which conditions. And by keeping the passenger in control of their own data, no large databases are being built that need protecting. By design, we are building simplicity, security and convenience,” said Louise Cole, IATA’s Head Customer Experience and Facilitation.

Source: The International Air Transport Association (IATA)

P.S. Easy Freight Ltd helps New Zealand importers & exporters to save money on international freight and reduce mistakes by guiding how to comply with Customs and biosecurity rules. 

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