A revolutionary airport travel test has taken flight in Finland. Finland’s Border Guard is currently piloting its Digital Travel Credentials (DTC) at Helsinki Airport with the cooperation of Finnair, the Finnish Police, and Finavia Corporation (a Finnish airport company that facilitates international flight connections through its national network of 20 airports). The pilot program has been underway since August 28, 2023, and will continue through the end of February 2024.
The primary purpose of Finland’s pilot project is to test the DTC in a real-life border control environment, with real passengers.
The DTC pilot program is led by the Finnish Border Guard, but it also involves Croatian partners. In fact, the DTC will be tested at Zagreb International Airport this autumn.
What’s a Digital Travel Credential?
The DTC is a digital version of a physical passport and, proponents say, it is equally reliable. The digital document allows for smooth and efficient border crossings without compromising security. DTC holders store their DTC using a dedicated mobile app, which they then use when passing through an airport queue that is exclusively for DTC holders. Specialized scanning equipment has been installed at DTC processing stations.
Who are the DTC passengers and where are they headed?
Passenger registration in the DTC pilot program is voluntary. Interested parties can register at the police service points in Tikkurila or at Helsinki Airport by following the instructions on the Finnish Border Guard’s website. Once registered, DTC users can use their DTC at border control when leaving and/or arriving in Finland.
The DTC pilot project allows passengers on Finnair flights to London, Edinburgh, and Manchester to pass through special DTC border control stations.
The DTC trend is catching on with other countries
Finland is one of several countries experimenting with the DTC approach to border control.
The European Commission, in cooperation with Member States, is developing the DTC as part of a broad digital identity policy package. The EU is also co-funding Finland’s pilot project to the tune of €2.3 million.
Earlier this year we reported on a brief but similar DTC pilot program between Canada and the Netherlands. Poland, South Korea, the U.S., and the U.K. are also reportedly developing digital passport projects.
RAJA (Finnish Border Guard)
Schengen Visa Info
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