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ICAO appoints Zamna for global travel recovery project

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Zamna is using the access to PKD to advise on future technology solutions that will make data verification easier for both governments and airlines, by leveraging standards such as those used today for the ePassport.

LONDON - London-based technology company Zamna has been selected to support the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations specialised agency for civil aviation, with a pilot programme designed to aid the air transport industry’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The six-month pilot allows Zamna authorised access to the contents of the ICAO PKD (Public Key Directory) for the verification of electronic travel documents and public-health proofs - including Covid-19 test results, vaccination status, proof of Covid-19 recovery documents, and other Covid-19 data in the context of international travel.

Zamna is using the access to PKD to advise on future technology solutions that will make data verification easier for both governments and airlines, by leveraging standards such as those used today for the ePassport.

With PKD data historically only being available to governments of the United Nations, opening it to Zamna and selected industry players for the first time ever signifies the impact that Covid-19 has had on the travel industry and the need for long-term future-proofing of international aviation travel.

Ciaran Carolan, Program Manager (PKD) at ICAO, says: “ICAO has led international efforts related to the standardisation of travel documents for many years, resulting in the availability of a core set of travel document specifications and an associated international trust framework that is widely understood and adopted globally. 

“It is important that the specifications and associated infrastructure evolve to meet new needs and demands in the changing world of travel, and as we have seen recently, remain resilient in the face of challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Zamna’s participation in this project is testament to its innovative technology, which anchors all travel related health data to a traveller’s passport. The solution allows airlines to verify a passenger’s identity documents, health and vaccine status using the ICAO’s existing standardised travel document - the passport.

Irra Ariella Khi, CEO of Zamna, says: “We are proud that a young venture-backed software business like Zamna is recognised as an enabler for global travel industry recovery by the ICAO. We have always put ICAO standards at the heart of what we do to ensure we are meeting the needs of international airlines and their passengers.”

Ciaran Carolan, Program Manager (PKD) at ICAO, adds: “Private sector parties are key players in the delivery of seamless and contactless traveller processing that is increasingly demanded, and it makes sense therefore to give them the capabilities necessary to deliver important services in the travel value chain while continuing to assure privacy, security and data protection, as assured in this pilot project. 

“The outcomes of the pilot will be very interesting for the whole aviation and travel community. We hope to learn more about how different stakeholders might bring their own capabilities and knowledge to the table in delivering enhanced services for passengers, governmental authorities and other stakeholders. The involvement of the participating companies, including Zamna, is greatly appreciated and we look forward to their honest and forthright feedback to inform next steps beyond the pilot project.”

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