UK-based software company VChain has developed a blockchain-powered system for passenger identity verification. Its Identity Management Platform functions as a high-fidelity passenger record tool for airlines and airports, according to chief executive officer (CEO) Irra Ariella Khi. “If you consider record keeping as a means for furthering civilisation – from the spoken word, to the written, followed by the printing press and then eventually the web – blockchain is the next step in development,” she added.
VChain won the inaugural Innovation Award at the IATA Global Airport and Passenger Symposium in October, and has been selected as a strategic partner for the IATA One ID programme, which Khi described as “an industry-based proposal that passenger checks only need to be done once. We attempted to find a way for airlines to work together and create an identification process that requires less process duplication, less queuing, fewer resources, and is overall less painful.”
In this context, VChain technology does not replace identity checks; instead, it creates a reliable and secure data warning system for airlines and airports. “If an airline verifies a passenger, it creates either a green, amber, or red signal, which is subsequently re-verified every journey,” Khi explained. This contributes to a database of passenger data verification reputation.
In theory, airports can apply VChain's Identity Management Platform data to passenger-facing operations, such as checkpoint screening. “Rather than all fliers having to go through a full body scan, removing their shoes, and other secondary checks, VChain will provide the capability to identify, through repeated data verification, potential at-risk passengers who could then be selected for differentiated screening,” she said, adding that this process would also “replace subjective judgement, such as random checks, with a data-driven process that would inform the airlines and potentially recommend further security for those passengers with low-quality data”.
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