The contract was awarded by ICAO on behalf of the countries participating in the ICAO PKD. Like the previous five years, support will be provided by the identity solution provider Veridos, a company in which Bundesdruckerei holds a 40% share. In 2015, Bundesdruckerei won the publicly tendered contract for the design and operation of the ICAO PKD. Since then it has been providing a highly secure and highly available, geo-redundant infrastructure for the PKD service at the Montreal and Abu Dhabi sites through D-Trust GmbH in Berlin, the German trust service provider of the Bundesdruckerei Group, and with support being provided by Veridos. Operational and technical support for ICAO and the countries participating in the PKD is the responsibility of Veridos.
Veridos is a joint venture between Bundesdruckerei and Giesecke+Devrient and provides support to the participating countries in connecting to and using the PKD service, analyses technical problems, and helps implement the applicable standards. Through the support provided by Veridos, the compliance of the participating countries with the required standards and the data quality of the ICAO PKD has increased significantly. Veridos also supports the Civil Aviation Organization itself via a direct contact at the ICAO headquarters in Montreal. ICAO is making global travel safer with its PKD service. At borders in many countries around the world, control officers use special reading devices to check whether the electronic passports presented are genuine, forged or manipulated.
This check is also carried out by eGates at many airports. The signature on the chip of the passport is verified with the certificate of the country that issued the passport. These signature certificates and the corresponding revocation lists are made available in the ICAO PKD. This means that the participating countries do not have to exchange these certificates bilaterally with each individual country, instead they can always retrieve them centrally and incorporate them into their own border control solutions. The International Civil Aviation Organization has also been providing the so-called ICAO Master List on a regular basis since March 2020, which it has implemented together with Bundesdruckerei and Veridos.
This solution enables the ICAO to simplify the provision of root certificates issued by the Country Signing Certificate Authorities (CSCA) of the participating countries. These root certificates act as a trust anchor to validate all other certificates they issue. The ICAO Master List allows countries to download the collected root certificates of the ICAO PKD participants and import them into their environments. “We are delighted that the ICAO and the participating PKD countries have entrusted us with the support of this important service for a further five years,” commented Dr. Stefan Hofschen, CEO of the Bundesdruckerei Group. “The continuation of our contract is yet another testament to Bundesdruckerei’s expertise in secure identities and demonstrates that our highly secure infrastructure fully satisfies the requirements set”. “The ICAO PKD is a great success story,” added Andreas Räschmeier, CEO of Veridos. “There were 49 participating countries when the new system went live five years ago, currently there are 76. We expect an equally convincing growth over the next five years. We are proud to be a service provider for such a significant solution and to be able to continue our work after five successful years”.