The Government of Canada to test cutting-edge technologies to support secure and seamless global travel for air passengers

News Release

January 25, 2018                       Davos, Switzerland                    Transport Canada

The Government of Canada will collaborate with the World Economic Forum and partners to test emerging digital technologies and how they can improve security and the seamless flow of legitimate air travellers, with the launch of the Known Traveller Digital Identity prototype. The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, highlighted the initiative today, on behalf of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting taking place in Davos, Switzerland.

The Known Traveler Digital Identity system takes emerging digital technologies such as advanced biometrics, cryptography and distributed ledger technologies to give travellers control over, and the ability to share their information, via personal mobile devices, with governments and travel providers to facilitate and expedite progress from departure to destination airports, and beyond. The Government of Canada will design a proof-of-concept pilot project between Canada and the Kingdom of the Netherlands to explore opportunities for demonstrating the benefits that these technologies can offer.

The launch of the Known Traveller Digital Identity prototype is the first step in an ambitious roadmap for public and private sector leaders to radically transform the border-crossing experience for the majority of legitimate travellers. By 2030, international air arrivals are expected to reach 1.8 billion passengers, a 50 per cent increase from the 1.2 billion arrivals recorded in 2016. To accommodate this growth the public and private sectors will need to address infrastructure and human resource constraints, as well as procedures regarding the processing of travellers, while at the same time maintaining security. This requires an integrated and trusted approach between governments and the private sector facilitated by emerging technologies and innovations.


"As a leader in cutting-edge aviation security, Canada looks forward to working with the World Economic Forum and the Kingdom of the Netherlands to explore ground-breaking technologies that will facilitate secure and seamless air travel. Leveraging new technological advancements can enhance public safety and security, making air travel more efficient while improving the traveller experience." 

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Canada’s Minister of Transport

“Emerging technologies have astounding potential to transform and enhance the global travel security system. The Known Traveller Digital Identity prototype will help enable governments, businesses and travellers to work together to improve security and the seamless flow of people across international borders.” 

The Honourable Navdeep Bains
Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick Facts

  • The Known Traveller: Unlocking the potential of digital identity for secure and seamless travel was published in consultation with Accenture, AccorHotels, Amadeus IT Group, AirAsia, Airports Council International (ACI), the Government of Canada, Google, Hilton Worldwide, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),  the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Marriott International, NEC Corporation, SAP SE, Sedicii, UK National Crime Agency, US Department of Commerce, US Department of Homeland Security, Visa and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

  • The World Economic Forum’s 48th Annual Meeting is taking place on January 23-26, 2018, in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. Three thousand leaders from around the world will gather in a collaborative effort to shape the global, regional and industry agendas, with a commitment to improve the state of the world.


Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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