Singapore's Changi Airport is using digital certificates to speed up immigration checks

Affinidi's Universal Verifier solution has been implemented to allow Changi Airport to digitally authenticate travellers who have tested negative for COVID-19.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor
Image: Affindi

Affinidi CEO Glenn Gore says he is optimistic that digital verification certificates will enable air travel to resume safely and securely.

While speaking during the virtual Amazon Innovation Day on Wednesday, Gore pointed out that Singapore's Changi Airport is proof that such a system could work. He noted that Affinidi's Universal Verifier solution is currently being used by the airport to digitally authenticate travellers arriving in the country have had tested negative to COVID-19, as well as any other required health credentials.

"This solution is already live now. Actually, if you visit Singapore and pass through Changi Airport, we'll be going through the Affinidi's Universal Verifier with immigration," he said.

"We recognise 15 different global standards today, so that the immigration officer doesn't matter what country you're coming from, [and has] a consistent presentation of that information in a safe and secure way to allow free passage."

He explained that using a self-sovereign identity verifiable solution helps remove the need for immigration to "deal with complex sets of information of different pathology reports from around the world", while also enable individuals to own and control who they share their health data with.

"Using verifiable credentials, the passenger experience starts with us, booking our ticket online, just like we normally do. At the completion of purchasing that ticket, the airline is actually going to send me some instructions as to this new requirement where I need to go and visit a clinic, and take a COVID swab test … the clinic is going to issue me a COVID test result. In that test result will be a QR code that I can look at, along with the printed details," Gore said.  

"I can head to the airport and the first experience I'm going to have is talking to the checking agent, as I go to check in for my flight. They're going to ask to see my credential, so that's already on my device, that airline agent is able to use universal verification to check the data that's on my device safely and securely; they can see that it hasn't been tampered with, that it's not fraudulent, and apply this against rules engines and have all the rules for the source and destination countries that we go to," Gore added.

"Ultimately, they're doing this to issue me a green tick saying I meet all of the entry requirements, so they can issue a boarding pass and I can get on that flight.

"When I arrive, I need to do an international border crossing, and again the immigration officer is going to want to see proof … so again, I'm going to use exactly the same QR code, the immigration officer is going to scan that apply it to the exactly same rules engine."

In addition to using it for flights, Gore believes the system could be used for a range of other domestic scenarios including checking into a hotel, to entering large scale sporting events and concerts, and "all the things we enjoyed before COVID". 

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