Aviation is changing drastically and a trust framework between airports, airlines and governments may be the hallmark of that change.

With number of people traveling set to almost double from the expected 4 billion this year to 7.8 by 2036, the airport operations and passenger facilitation that we know today will cease to exist. To meet this demand, airports will have to double their capacity in size and make more efficient use of infrastructure. Passengers will move faster, without friction through the airport to their flight. This seamless scenario starts with more of the travel preparation begun off airport.  Checking in by registering your identity on your mobile device and having your bag collected at home will begin the improved user journey. Once at the airport the passenger will be identified through matching their biometrics at required touch points like airside access, border control and boarding. The touch points at the airport will be passed at a walking pace, a seamless flow marked by an improved user experience with equally improved privacy and security protections.

The aviation industry is working to realize this picture of passenger journey today. There is one precondition they have to address: trusted data sharing between the many stakeholders. Stakeholders with competing plans, priorities and processes will have to cooperate to meet the demands of this changing world of aviation. The global aviation ecosystem requires these “teams of rivals” to collaborate to enable the passenger to pass airport touch points in a fast and secure way. Stakeholders will need to agree on the “tools and rules,” the business, technical and legal standards for the sharing of data. Aviation leaders have begun to organize themselves in agile governance structures to manage shared business, legal and technical standards. Those agreed standards will be memorialized in trust frameworks.

IATA’s OneID Task force has begun working with airlines, airports, governments and vendors to agree on the next generation of business, legal and technical standards. Airports, big and small, are updating operations in full cooperation with all stakeholders.  Industry leaders understand that the interdependence of airports to meet the increased privacy and security requirements will drive the necessary interoperability between airports. They’ve engaged with the Open Identity Exchange to learn how other industries are developing similar global trust frameworks. The seamless flow of passengers in airports and between airports is enabled by an analogous flow of data among stakeholders. The OneID Task Force is leading these teams of rivals and is taking up the challenge of developing a new set of “tools and rules,” the standards that will enable airports to offer a more secure, privacy protecting and seamless passenger journey in the future.



Annet Steenbergen
Annet Steenbergen is co founder of the first seamless passenger facilitation, the Aruba Happy Flow, advises the Government of Aruba and is consultant seamless flow. She also chairs IATA’s Passenger Facilitation Working group.

Don Thibeau
Chairman – Open Identity Exchange
Executive Director – OpenID Foundation