BANGKOK: Even though the COVID-19 health crisis has been severely disrupting the global travel industry, in the past few months the DGM Consortium, which comprises Thales, has continued its close collaboration with Thai Ministery of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Global teams were working remotely to deliver the project, supporting the Thai Government’s “Thailand 4.0’”vision to develop an innovative, digital economy.
The new Thai e-passport project was delivered on July 8 to MOFA and launched in an official inauguration ceremony conducted on August 5 in the presence of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Thailand, Don Pramudwinai.
The Thai e-passport project is one of the largest passport programs for Thales worldwide, as it aims to provide Thai citizens superior technology and the highest possible level of security in a travel document. A total of 15 million technologically-advanced and high-security e-passports will be delivered to Thai citizens over the next seven years.
The newly designed 64-page biometric travel document includes an e-Cover and a thin, flexible data page made of polycarbonate material. The reverse side of the data page features a high definition, true color UV picture of one of Bangkok’s most iconic landmarks, the Wat Arun temple. The security features visible on the data page include an additional secondary image of the citizen perforated in the semi-transparent window; as well as the traditional Thai four-petal lotus symbol, the line-pra-jum-yam, embossed using Thales’ Secure Surface technology.
Designed to counter new types of forgeries, Thales Secure Surface provides optical elements with light reflective and animation effects revealed by tilting a document in different angles. This visible security feature allows fast and efficient verification by border authorities.
An additional perceptible feature is the tactile signature of the citizen embossed on the data page. Biometric data is securely embedded into the passport chip using Thales’ secure embedded software. This software provides strong security for identification and protection of citizens’ privacy.
The technological features of the passport ensures secure and fast border crossing, while complying with all relevant data protection laws in Thailand and is fully compliant to the highest security standards recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Since the project’s inception, Thales has trained 250 local experts in its passport issuance technologies. Over the next seven years, Thales will be operating know-how transfer and upskilling more than 500 Thai nationals in its technologies, thus significantly contributing to the local economy.
Thales has been a dedicated partner to Thailand for almost 50 years in industry sectors ranging from defence to air traffic management and ground transportation. Aligning with this vision Thales will henceforth be providing its digital identity and biometrics expertise to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, making the Group their trusted partner as they deliver a highly-secure and modern passport for their citizens. “Throughout the last few months amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued our close collaboration with Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and worked tirelessly to deliver this milestone. Thai citizens now possess one of the world’s most sophisticated e-passports that integrate biometrics and other high-security features that will provide a seamless and secure travel experience. We will continue to build local expertise in passport issuance with training and transfer-of-technology aligned with our commitment to upskilling the Thai workforce as Thailand moves towards a digital future,” said Massimo Marinzi, Country Director, Thales Thailand. –shp/mgm