Curaçao Announces World’s First Pre-Flight Biometric Digital ID Verification for Contactless Border Crossing in partnership with Airside and Vision-Box
Willemstad, Curaçao; Lisbon, Portugal; 27 September 2023 – The government of Curaçao in conjunction with Curaçao Airport Holding, announced today that it has chosen Airside, the industry leader in privacy-based digital identity sharing, to join Vision-Box, the global leader in biometric-based travel solutions, in creating the world’s first mobile-based, pre-enrollment border crossing system. The program will utilize integrated traveller-controlled, remote and in-person technologies, provided by Airside and Vision-Box, allowing visitors to feel the authentic Curaçaoan spirit as soon as they land.
Under the Curaçao Airport Holding leadership, this advancement marks a milestone in the international travel experience. By connecting travellers and the government ahead of time this innovation will allow travellers to send their verified information before they cross the border. The solution will cut transaction times by more than half, processing a significantly larger volume of travellers in less time, and leveraging secure biometrics with an emphasis on travellers’ data privacy.
"This initiative demonstrates the dedication of Curaçao to adopting cutting-edge solutions to provide a secure and seamless experience for all travellers passing through our borders," stated, Curaçao’s Minister of Justice, Shalten Hato. "This collaboration between all stakeholders represents a significant advancement in the digital age of travel and innovative border control processes whereby a balance is realized between the Country’s security and Passenger's privacy," stated Priscilla Duin-Circkens, Chief Strategy Officer at Curaçao Airport Holding.
Airside's technology is trusted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the world’s largest airlines and follows ISO/IEC 18013-5 and ICAO Digital Travel Credential (DTC) standards for airport security and border control pre-registration. Under strict traveller’s consent, the Airside app enables the traveller to initiate the verification and sharing of their electronic travel documents, including biographic and biometric data, allowing the country’s immigration services to use a risk-based approach to anticipate and determine physical border crossings, starting with departures by US, EU, and Canadian passport holders.
"Airside is thrilled to support Curaçao in their mission to provide a fast and pleasant experience for all travellers,” said Adam Tsao, General Manager for Airside at Onfido. “Together with Vision-Box, our privacy-first approach will empower everyone visiting this idyllic country by putting travellers at the start and at the heart of their journeys.”
This revolutionary capability is sustained with Vision-Box's Seamless Journey Platform, which is already orchestrating the Automated Border Control flow at Curaçao’s Hato International Airport (CUR).
“Our focus for this achievement remains centred on collaboration, interoperability, and digitalization," said Miguel Leitmann, Chief Executive Officer and Founder at Vision-Box. "Our long-lasting partnership with both Airside and Curaçao proves that by collaborating with such forward-thinking partners and stakeholders, we can reshape the global travel landscape, making it more secure, efficient, and, ultimately, traveller-centric."
With a design capacity of 2.5 million passengers per annum, CUR is poised to continue its integral role in driving the island's tourism industry forward. In 2022, the airport served a record-breaking 1.46 million passengers, with international routes accounting for a remarkable 106% increase compared to 2019. This robust performance has already exceeded previous forecasts, which the airport expects to welcome approximately 1.6 million passengers in 2023 and anticipates long-term growth rates of around 10% per year. With this new entirely contactless process, Curaçao is paving the way for a hassle-free border control experience for travellers, while ensuring safety and convenience remain paramount.
Wilhelmus Ignacio, Managing Director at Curaçao Airport Holding said “This pioneering partnership encapsulates our brand values of innovation and inclusivity. The Seamless Border Control solution is the culmination of nine years of hard work, whereby the foundation was created for this moment. By embracing state-of-the-art technology, we are advancing not only our operational excellence but also the traveller's first impression of Curaçao. This initiative embodies our dedication to providing travellers with a frictionless, authentic, and unforgettable experience starting the instant they arrive at our destination. This, whilst always prioritizing the Passenger’s privacy.”
Curaçao’s Minister of Economic Development, Ruisandro Cijntje, stated “This new program will create a truly customer-friendly experience for our tourists, which will bring peace-of-mind while travelling through the airport and enable them to quickly explore our beautiful island.”
How it will look
Using the Airside Digital Identity App on their smartphone, visitors to the popular Caribbean getaway will share their verified passports with border control officials before their trip. Then upon arrival/departures at the airport, travellers will simply show their face to quickly process through the newly updated, contactless entry/exit Seamless Journey platform and eGates, provided by Vision-Box. Eligible travellers will include:
- Owners of any smartphone, iOS and Android.
- US, EU, and Canadian passport holders.
- Travellers on international flights entering- and exiting the country, starting initially with departures.