Programme Outline

​In order to respond to increase in the traveller volumes post COVID-19, while at the same time mitigating security risks, air industry, border control authorities, and travel document issuing agencies are looking for more efficient and secure ways to identify and process travellers. While harnessing the capabilities and opportunities afforded by new and emerging technologies, the focus of the Symposium is to incorporate technology with the interdependent elements of the TRIP Strategy and hence maximize the benefits of using digital representation.

Overall picture and health-related context: focus on MRTD technologies to facilitate recovery of aviation. The Symposium will place an emphasis on the recognized need for the enhancement of data sharing possibilities and capabilities, across government and the private sector, in order to facilitate seamless and contactless travel processes. The planned discussions between health and civil aviation authorities will include the major challenges civil aviation faces during different types of public health events and the identification of lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic. Different strategies for enhancing the use of electronic Machine Readable Travel Document (eMRTD) solutions with a view towards contactless travel processes under extra-ordinary circumstances will be discussed. To facilitate the recovery of aviation, the application of border control and entry requirements should be as uniform and globally interoperable as possible. Digital solutions such as the ICAO Visible Digital Seals (VDS) for secure and globally interoperable health-proofs, and the use of the ICAO Health Master List to check the health certificates will be highlighted. The expected outcome of this session is to improve the effectiveness of prevention and management of public health risks in aviation and build resilience for similar events in future. The other sessions will build on topics related to the five TRIP elements, as follows:

  • Evidence of identity. Today we live in an interconnected world through mobile phones and the internet. Both technology and generational changes are likely to have an impact on how legal identity could be packaged and shared in the future. Smartphones are able to verify physical identity using biometrics stored in central civil registry eco-systems. Automation allows for credible evidence of identity involving the tracing and verification of identity against breeder documents to ensure the authenticity of identity;

  • Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTDs). The future generation of travel documents will introduce the ability to substitute a conventional passport with a digital representation of the traveller’s identity. This identity can be validated by using the travel document issuing authority’s public key infrastructure. This Digital Travel Credential (DTC) has been standardized, which provides enhanced benefits to expedite inspection while also enhancing security by enabling immigration officers to quickly and efficiently check the traveller prior to their arrival welcoming bona fide travellers, and taking appropriate measures against individuals who pose a threat;

  • Document issuance and control. The digitization of traditional paper-based processes is the new trend. Electronic visa travel systems, secure credentials on mobile phones and biometrics can simplify international travel as they eliminate the need to carry a physical passport or obtain paper-based visas. Appropriate authorities and or issuing authorities are moving towards centralized, thoroughly modernized systems for document issuance with an aim to better utilize the technologies that are available, including electronic verification of the passport and biometric identification capture, automation through borders via e-gates or kiosks, and eVisa application, issuance and usage to better manage the flow and tracking of the authorized holders, while ensuring that controls are in place to prevent theft, tampering and loss;

  • Inspection systems and tools. Inspection systems and tools for the efficient and secure reading and verification of MRTDs and eMRTDs, including use of the ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD) and increased implementation of the Automated Border Control (ABC) gates; and

  • Interoperable applications. Combining ePassport data, biometric recognition, PKD and the use of ABCs opens the possibility of automating partially or fully the passenger identification process through the traveller’s journey. This is made possible thanks to globally interoperable applications and protocols that provide for timely, secure and reliable linkage of MRTDs and their holders to available and relevant data in the course of inspection operations. There will be a special focus on advance passenger information (API) and passenger name record (PNR) data.
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