Millennium Post

Soon you won’t need to carry multiple documents for air travel

Thanks to new revolutionary technology, airline passengers could soon be able to travel through airports and borders with just a 'secure single token' eliminating the need of carrying multiple travel documents. 

Airline solutions and technology provider SITA is exploring the potential of newly-emerging 'blockchain' technology to provide travellers with a 'secure single token' which was previewed at the 2016 Air Transport IT Summit here in this Spanish city. The revolutionary technology provides the opportunity to allow secure biometric authentication of passengers throughout the journey across borders which could remove the need for multiple travel documents without passengers having to share their personal data. 

SITA's technology research team, SITA Lab, is researching how using virtual or digital passports in the form of a secure single token on mobile and wearable devices could reduce complexity, cost and liability around document checks during the passenger journey. Jim Peters, CTO, SITA, said, "Our vision is for seamless secure travel. 

But the underlying design of today's computer systems means that there are multiple exchanges of data between various agencies and multiple verification steps, which reduces the ability to have a single global system". "Now blockchain technology offers us the potential to provide a new way of using biometrics. It could enable biometrics to be used across borders, and at all airports, without the passenger's details being stored by the various authorities," he said. 

SITA's researchers are investigating a versatile and secure system to make the single travel token work globally, across all borders. Blockchain technology allows 'privacy by design' so that passenger data can be secure, encrypted, tamper-proof and unusable for any other purpose. It also eliminates the need for a single authority to own, process or store the data. 

The crypto-led computer science of blockchain provides a network of trust, where the source and history of the data is verifiable by everyone. "This is a whole new way of working but ultimately 'The Blockchain' is simply a database where transactions are recorded and confirmed anonymously. 
Whether it is used for currency or travel it is simply a record of events that is shared between multiple parties but most importantly once information is entered, it cannot be changed, and privacy and security are by design," Peters added. 

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