Transatlantic pilot project launched with DTC


This morning, flight KL672 from Montreal landed at Schiphol carrying passengers who used the Digital Travel Credential (DTC) to guide them through border checks quickly and efficiently with Tap & Go. The flight forms part of a pilot project running until 31 March 2024 into how the DTC1 (a copy of the digital information contained on the chip of the passport) works in combination with facial recognition at border checks. At the request of the European Commission (EC), the pilot project is being conducted by the Ministry of Justice and Security, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the National Office for Identity Data in cooperation with the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, KLM and technology provider IDEMIA.

The EC issued the request to test the use of the DTC in practice in the border process. The EU is currently developing policies for the use of a digital travel document, which could possibly enable the use of the DTC for boarding and border control in the future.

The pilot project

Passengers flying KLM from Canada (Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal) to Amsterdam are eligible to participate in the pilot project, as long as they hold a Belgian, Dutch or Canadian passport and are over 18 years of age. They receive an email invitation from KLM to participate in the pilot. Passengers can upload their passport information at home using a app, combined with a facial photo, facilitating early checks by the border control authorities before they arrive at Schiphol. Upon arrival at Schiphol, participants pass through a special DTC Tap & Go border gate. Based on a facial scan, the DTC is called up. Participants then hold their passports against the border gate reader. If there is a match between the DTC and the passport presented and no irregularities emerge from previous checks, the border can be crossed. A physical passport is still required for the pilot project. Expectations are that this will speed up the border process for travellers.

Busy airports

Passenger numbers are increasing, and airports are getting busier. As a logical continuation of online check-in at home, the pilot project examines how we can further innovate airport checks for boarding and border control. For these checks too, travellers can prepare at home and the process at the airport can be faster and contactless. Barry ter Voert, Chief Experience Officer (CXO) and EVP Business Development at KLM: On a daily basis, we examine how we can make the passenger journey even more comfortable and enjoyable from start to finish. As an airline, KLM is responsible for passport checks as well as check-in and boarding. Digitisation provides an opportunity to make these checks faster and more efficient for our customers, starting from home. To do so properly, legislation and regulations are needed. That’s why are happy to be participating in the trial conducted by the Dutch government so that we can share our expertise and improve our services.”

About the DTC1

The DTC1 technology standard was issued by ICAO. Combining DTC1 with the application of biometrics, travellers can cross borders quickly and more easily. The DTC1 contains information from the biographical page of the passport (name, first names, etc.), supplemented by some technical elements to establish that the information was indeed obtained from an authentic passport. A key feature of the DTC1 is that this information should always be used in conjunction with a physical passport. Travellers only need to tap their passport on a reader and walk through.