Schiphol starts trials with digital travel checks for Canada

Immigration control at Schiphol airport. Photo:

The Schiphol airport authority is testing the use of a digital travel document which will allow border police to check the identities of those travelling before they arrive at the airport.

The Netherlands is taking part in trials of the Digital Travel Credential (DTC) together with Canada, at the request of the EU. This means only passengers travelling from Schiphol to Canada by KLM – and who hold a Dutch, Belgian or Canadian passport – will be able to take part. 

Passengers are sent an email invitation and asked to upload a facial photo, fill in their passport details and answer questions about the reasons for their visit and where they will be staying.

Border checks can then be carried out before the flight, cutting down queues at the airport. Passengers will still have to scan their closed passport at the border but if that goes smoothly, they can head for their plane.

The system has been operating for a few weeks and there have been a few teething problems, border police spokesman Elwin van der Molen told NOS radio. 

The experiment will run until the end of March but it will be several years before it can be introduced for all flights, Van der Molen said.

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