By Jeremy Springall, Senior Vice-President, Border Management, SITA
This article first appeared in the Airport Industry-News magazine, Issue 1 2022.
When I presented on digital travel at ICAO’s TRIP 2022, the buzz around the industry’s digital directions was palpable.
ICAO, with its Digital Travel Credential (DTC), is one of the driving forces for universal and interoperable solutions for digital identities, which bring with them secure and seamless journeys across the world, enabled by mobile and biometric technologies.
Digital identities mean we will be able to travel from anywhere to everywhere – by air, land or sea – without needing to show our physical travel documents. They will be the master key for unlocking every stage of the journey, from the earliest intention to travel, all the way to destination activities and the return journey. Digital travel – harnessing digital identities – helps us to tackle industry challenges, such as growth in traveller numbers, staff shortages, rising expectations for ‘joined up’ intermodal journeys, government austerity and more.
Passengers get secure, stress-free travel, with the ability to complete processes securely off-airport, meaning fewer queues; and the industry gets more efficiencies, including pre-cleared, ‘ready-to-go’ travellers, with faster approvals and risk assessment before departure.
At SITA, digital travel remains a critical area of our strategic focus. We provide the next generation of self-service technology infrastructure on which digital identities rely – with integrated data-driven, mobile and biometrically-enabled self-service touchpoints for check-in, bag-drop, border control, boarding and more.
Our digital border solutions enable digital travel at the border for over 70 governments and all G20 nations, while our passenger processing solutions offer biometric and mobile-driven digital journey experiences for travellers, which can be untethered from fixed points in the airport.
As SITA develops and innovates, we recognise the need to evolve to a universal digital identity for travel, not parochial, standalone initiatives for one airport or transport operator.
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