Air passenger numbers are expected to double by 2041. However, building ever larger airports will be difficult. The industry needs to implement automation, digitalization, and efficient processes to handle this growth.
IATA’s One ID initiative aims to streamline passenger journey with advance sharing of information and a contactless process at the airport based on biometric-enabled identification. By obtaining all necessary authorizations and demonstrating admissibility to travel prior to departure, passengers will be ‘Ready to Fly’ before they arrive at the airport. Travel experience can be further enhanced through digital identity technology, allowing passengers to move through airport touchpoints swiftly without showing physical documents.
One ID for a Seamless & Contactless Passenger Journey
To achieve more seamless and contactless passenger journeys while protecting privacy, IATA aims to establish an ecosystem that is interoperable with various industry parties, airlines, airports, and governments, across the world through a safe digital environment.
One ID is based on two key pillars:
- Digitalization of Admissibility: passengers can digitally obtain authorizations in advance of travel directly from the destination government and demonstrate to the airline their admissibility to travel.
- Contactless Travel: passengers can share their live biometric image and journey information in advance and go through airport touchpoints without the need to show their physical documents repetitively.
> View the One ID End-State chart (pdf)
Benefits for all stakeholders
One ID incurs benefits for passengers and all industry stakeholders.
- Travellers can digitally demonstrate to the airline that they meet all the travel requirements (e.g., visa) to the destination country before reaching the airport.
- By simply presenting their face, they don’t need to repeatedly present travel documents.
- Passengers remain in control of their personal data and are provided with informed consent before sharing their credentials.
- Airlines can automate document-checking processes.
- With direct communication between passengers and authorities, airlines are released from operational burden of checking documents. The number of inadmissible passengers is reduced.
- Passenger processing time is lowered.
- The quality of passenger data submitted to airlines is increased.
- Automated passenger processing helps relieving terminal congestion.
- Space utilization can be optimized.
- Border authorities have direct control over which passengers are allowed to enter the country.
- Advance data sharing offers governments a chance to conduct a risk analysis on travellers and combat cross-border criminal activities.
- Document fraud is prevented, improving border security and passenger facilitation.
IATA’s focus on One ID is twofold:
- Building industry standards with the Customer Experience and Facilitation Working Group (CEFWG).
- Engaging with authorities to raise awareness of the One ID standards, identify obstacles, and gain regulatory support in collaboration with the IATA Control Authorities Working Group (CAWG).
One ID Ecosystem
IATA recommends an open trust framework to achieve interoperability and address privacy issues. For this, IATA promotes the model of the W3C Verifiable Credentials Data Model, a digital credential which is tamper-evident and more trustworthy than its physical counterpart. Examples: biographic and biometric data from the passport or other identity document, visas and other travel authorizations, health-related status, details on the passenger’s itinerary.
From the Passenger Services Conference Resolution Manual (PSCRM)
- Recommended Practice 1701o Contactless Travel
- Recommended Practice 1701p Digitalization of Admissibility
- One ID Handbook
- One ID Fact Sheet (Nov 2023)
- One ID Fact Sheet Digital Identity
- One ID Fact Sheet Digitalization of Admissibility
- One ID Fact Sheet Verifiable Credentials
End-to-End Digital Identity Proof of Concept
IATA worked with industry partners to undertake an End-to-End Digital Identity Proof of Concept (PoC) to demonstrate interoperability and test the standards throughout a customer journey from shopping to travel.
> First Integrated Shopping to Travel Journey Using Digital Identity press release (Oct 2023)
Participate in One ID
Participation in One ID is done through the Customer Experience and Facilitation Working Group (CEFWG). The CEFWG deals with matters concerning facilitation and contactless journey. It reports to the Travel Standards Board (TSB)
You are welcome to join CEFWG if you are an IATA member airline, ACI member airport, government, industry association, international organization, or IATA Strategic Partners involved in Customer Experience and Facilitation
To join the CEFWG, please contact us through email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
If an airport provides biometric-enabled processes, is the airport considered ‘One ID compliant’?
Biometric-based processes are part of the One ID principles, however, there are other principles as well to adhere to, such as using decentralized digital identity, enabling selective disclosure, etc., unless a contactless process can be offered without enrolment, e.g. by leveraging the government’s biometrics database. Also, interoperability is the key to One ID, so if the biometric-enabled processes require a separate enrolment for that location only and do not accept digital identity credentials created by other parties, it is not in line with the One ID recommendations. Moreover, the One ID standards are yet to be completed, and thus it is too early to determine the One ID compliance.
Should airports stop implementing biometric solutions until the standards are complete?
No. Airports can still experiment and implement biometric solutions while comprehending One ID standards and ensuring that their system is adjustable to adopt changes and enhancements in the future to be interoperable and compatible with the One ID end-state processes.
How can different models and solutions in the airport biometric processes co-exist across the world?
The current different models and solutions may not necessarily be in line with the One ID principles and recommendations. However, if they go through the necessary changes and adoption to be compatible with the One ID end-state process, they can co-exist. In the One ID end-state, they should offer a contactless process with biometric recognition and accept digital identity credentials from passengers where applicable.
How can a passenger trust airlines, airports or other third parties to respect data security and privacy?
There should be a trust framework in place that assures data security and privacy. Governments can play a key role in establishing this trust framework to ensure that issuers and verifiers are legitimate and reliable in protecting passenger data.
Through the open trust framework that IATA recommends where passengers remain in control of their personal data and disclose information selectively, such data security concerns can be relieved. Furthermore, any party that handles personal data is required to comply with any applicable data privacy laws and regulations .
If the government does not issue a digital identity for travel, how can passengers digitally demonstrate their admissibility to travel to relying parties?
Passengers can still create a digital identity by deriving proof as a Verifiable Credential from their passport or other identity document as applicable through a third party solution. This digital identity can be used for non-government-managed touchpoints at the airport, such as check-in, bag drop, security access (if applicable) and boarding.