Trans-Atlantic pilot started with Digital Travel Credential

This morning, KL672 landed at Schiphol Airport from Montreal with passengers using Digital Travel Credential (DTC) which guided them through border controls quickly and efficiently by means of 'Tap & Go'. The flight is part of a pilot investigating until 31 March 2024 how DTC-1 - a copy of the digital information on the chip of the passport - works in combination with facial recognition at border controls. Commissioned by the European Commission, the pilot is being conducted by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security, the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the National Office for Identity Data in collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary, Schiphol Airport, KLM and technology provider Idemia.

The European Commission came up with a request to test the use of a DTC in the border process in practice. The EU is currently developing policies for the use of a digital travel document, which could possibly enable the use of DTC for boarding and border passage in the future.

The pilot

Passengers flying with KLM from Canada (Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal) to Amsterdam are eligible to participate in the pilot, provided they hold a Belgian, Dutch or Canadian passport and are over 18 years old. They will receive an e-mail from KLM asking if they want to participate in the pilot. Before traveling, the passenger can upload the passport information at home in a specially developed app, in combination with a facial photo. This allows for an early check by the border control authority before arrival at Schiphol Airport. Upon arrival at Schiphol Airport, participants pass through a special DTC 'Tap & Go' border gate. The DTC is collected based on a facial scan. Participants then hold their passports against the border gate. If there is a match between the DTC and the offered passport and no peculiarities have emerged from previous checks, the participants can cross the border. A physical passport remains required for the pilot. It is expected that using DTC will allow travellers to complete the border process faster.

Crowded airports

The number of passengers is increasing and airports are getting busier. As a logical next step to online check-in at home, the pilot investigates how we can further innovate airport checks at boarding and border passage. Travellers will then be able to prepare for these steps at home as well, making the process at the airport faster and contactless.

About DTC-1

DTC-1 is a technological standard issued by ICAO. With DTC-1 in combination with the application of biometrics, travellers can cross borders quickly and more easily. DTC-1 contains information from the biographical page in the passport (name, first names, etc.), supplemented by some technical elements to establish that the information was actually obtained from an authentic passport. A key feature of DTC-1 is that this information must always be used in conjunction with the physical passport. Travellers need only 'tap' their passport on a reader and walk through.