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Finland trials world-first digital 'passport'

Finns participating in the trial will have access to a dedicated border control lane at Helsinki Airport.

Police of Finland

Finns flying Finnair to or from the UK have the opportunity to be among the first in the world to trial the digital travel credential (DTC).

The Police of Finland invited Finns to participate in the trial by registering as voluntary users of the digital credential at police service points in Tikkurila or Helsinki Airport in Vantaa. The credential can be used at the airport by passengers on Finnair flights between Helsinki and London, Helsinki and Manchester, and Helsinki and Edinburgh.

A physical passport is still required to enter the UK, however.

Mika Hansson, chief superintendent at the National Police Board, revealed that passengers using the digital credentials have access to a dedicated border control line at Helsinki Airport. “They are able to proceed on their journey without queueing,” he said.

Essentially a digital version of a conventional passport, the digital credential is intended to make border controls smoother for passengers without compromising border security.

The first flight using a digital travel document was made on 1 September.

The European Commission and EU member states are developing the travel credential as part of a wider digital identity policy, with 2.3 million euros allocated for the pilot project led by the Finnish Border Guard. The pilot is believed to be the first in the world where the credential is trialled in a real border-control environment.

The Finnish Border Guard, is heading the project, which is also being trialled in Zagreb, Croatia.

By: Aleksi Teivainen