Is passport-less travel the future? It might be for Canada and the Netherlands

Good news for the disorganised folk who frequently misplace or even lose their passports (such as my mum’s friend who accidentally took her daughter’s passport to the airport when travelling to Australia instead of her own), the future is here!

Canada and the Netherlands, always a nice couple, have announced a pilot project that will allow passport-free travel between the two countries.

How will it work?

The Canadian and Netherlands government teamed up with the World Economic Forum to launch the project on Wednesday.

The app is called Known Traveller Digital Identity (KTDI) and is currently being tested on flights between Amsterdam and Montreal or Toronto. Travellers will be identified through biometric technology that scans physical appearance. The biometrics will verify a passengers’ status throughout their journey and update their progress on the app until they arrive at their destination. So hopefully this prevents an entire plane disembarking without noticing a sleeping passenger and leaving her behind.

A blockchain contained in the app will prevent fraud and the passenger has full control over when and how their data is shared.

Who doesn’t love statistics?

In 1950 there were only 25 million global travellers, a luxury only the wealthy could afford.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, in 2018 there were 1.32 billion global tourists.

The tourism and travel industry is growing at a faster pace than other industries such as the financial and manufacturing services due and in 2030 there are expected to be 1.8 billion international travellers.

Relieving airport pressure

Christoph Wolff, head of the World Economic Forum commented “with current systems, airports cannot keep up.” This project will eliminate the need for a customs check.

The scheme is still in a pilot phase but intends to be rolled out at Montreal’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Toronto’s Pearson international airports by 2020.

Freya Sawbridge
Freya Sawbridge
Freya was born in Edinburgh but raised in New Zealand (cue every person she meets saying “oh I have always wanted to go there but it’s so far away!”). A restless and curious nature has led her to move countries 5 times in the last 3 years in attempt to find a place she can call home. She contacted DutchReview on a whim and arrived in the Netherlands in summer 2019 to start her internship.


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