ICAO pilot project provides airlines, airports and other air transport partners with improved capabilities to authenticate travel and health documents

Montréal, 9 March 2022 – A new ICAO pilot project is helping airlines, airports, and other air transport partners to test and leverage the capability to authenticate travel documents and related health certificates, including official proofs of vaccination.

The limited-time pilot project trial is providing the private sector partners with enhanced opportunities to make use of the data in ICAO’s Public Key Directory (PKD), a critical backbone supporting the security and efficiency of international mobility. 

PKD data supports the international system of asymmetric cryptography employed by States to secure documents such as electronic passports, and importantly it contains no personal information about the travel document or health proof holders.

“The ICAO PKD has always been a valuable tool for countries to enhance border security and facilitate travel,” explained ICAO Secretary General Mr. Juan Carlos Salazar. “By allowing the private sector stakeholders to make use of PKD data, in support of the development of new value-added tools and solutions, ICAO is hoping to help accelerate related innovation and deliver numerous win-win benefits for both governments and passengers.”

Fourteen companies are already taking part in the pilot project, exploring new types of products and services which governments and the wider aviation community could benefit from by leveraging existing PKD data. 

The end-result should be a more varied range of stakeholders being able to authenticate travel and related health documents throughout a traveller’s journey, resulting in fully secure, seamless processes, added convenience, and higher efficiency for all concerned. 

“In this sense this pilot project should also be appreciated as helping to support our overall efforts to reconnect the world, and deliver a more rapid return to normal for international air travel as the pandemic subsides.” Mr. Salazar added.  
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About ICAO
A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created by governments in 1944 to support their diplomacy on international air transport matters. Since that time, countries have adopted over 12,000 standards and practices through ICAO which help to align their national regulations relevant to aviation safety, security and facilitation, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, enabling a truly global network to be realized. ICAO forums also provide opportunities for advice and advocacy to be shared with government decision-makers by industry groups, civil society NGOs, and other officially-recognized air transport stakeholders.

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