Europeans may soon be able to travel across Europe without a passport booklet after Finland volunteered to be the first country in the European Union to test run the use of a mobile app instead.
Finland stepped forward to test the new technology which will allow passengers to travel paper-free and which will hopefully accelerate check-in procedures.
Once Finland secures funding, it will test run the digital passport scheme initially at Helsinki Airport and only for travel to and from Finland and Croatia.
According to local media, Finnish authorities said they would be submitting a relevant application for funds to the European Commission this month which will decide on the pilot project.
As expected, the airline and airport industries are hoping the new app will help tackle the thorny issue of delays.
The new app will provide digital copies of travel documents and users will be able to send information to border authorities before traveling abroad.
The Commission has invited other member states to test the digital mobile phone passport app so that it can collect feedback before launching it in the EU.
The test will be carried out most likely in spring 2023 or after on a sample of passengers who will be asked to download the app on their phones and send documentation to border authorities before their trip. They will however be required to have their paper passports handy for border control.
Meanwhile, Mikko Väisänen, an inspector with the Finnish Border Guard, told local newspaper Helsingin Sanomat that the information provided to authorities via the app would be checked in advance and deleted after the trip.