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Carrying a paper passport may be a memory in the not-so-distant future as digital passports begin testing with Finnish citizens heading to select UK airports. Digital Travel Credentials (DTCs) will be checked at the border and the passports can stay home.
New Atlas reports that passengers flying from Helsinki Airport (HEL) to Edinburgh Airport (EDI), London Heathrow Airport (LHR), and Manchester Airport (MAN) on Finnair flights will not need their passports. Instead, during this trial through February 2024, Finnish travelers need to download an app (FIN DTC Pilot), register with the Vantaa Main Police Office, have a passport photo retaken, and send their data to the Finnish Border Guard up to 36 hours before departure. Facial recognition technology will verify their identities and it is estimated that this will speed up airport processing by up to 30%.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) set the standards for the program and the framework for digital passports. Croatia will join next for residents leaving from Zagreb International Airport (ZAG) later this year. The European Union (EU) hopes that 80% of air passengers will switch to DTCs by 2030.
A spokesperson from the Finish Border Guard said:
The DTC pilot project will allow passengers on Finnair flights to London, Edinburgh, and Manchester to pass through border control without queuing faster and smoother than usual. The pilot project will test the DTC in a real border control environment, reportedly for the first time in the world. The DTC is a digital version of a physical passport and is equally reliable. It allows smooth and fast border crossings without compromising security.”
Anthony’s Take: Carrying a passport is annoying. I’m always paranoid it will get lost, stolen, or damaged. A digital version would be much preferred and it looks like that reality may be in the near future.
(Featured Image Credit: Biometricupdate.com.)
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