The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that it is working with the International Airlines Group (IAG) on a new a digital health pass. The IATA Travel Pass is currently in its final development phase and is being developed to support the safe reopening of borders.
Governments around the world are beginning to use testing as a means of limiting the risks of COVID-19, when re-opening their borders to travellers without quarantine measures. IATA says that its Travel Pass will manage and verify the secure flow of necessary testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories and travellers.
IATA is also calling for systematic COVID-19 testing of all international travellers and the information flow infrastructure needed to enable this must support:
- Governments with the means to verify the authenticity of tests and the identity of those presenting the test certificates.
- Airlines with the ability to provide accurate information to their passengers on test requirements and verify that a passenger meets the requirements for travel.
- Laboratories with the means to issue digital certificates to passengers that will be recognised by governments, and;
- Travellers with accurate information on test requirements, where they can get tested or vaccinated, and the means to securely convey test information to airlines and border authorities.
“Today borders are double locked,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “Testing is the first key to enable international travel without quarantine measures. The second key is the global information infrastructure needed to securely manage, share and verify test data matched with traveller identities in compliance with border control requirements. That’s the job of IATA Travel Pass. We are bringing this to market in the coming months to also meet the needs of the various travel bubbles and public health corridors that are starting operation.”
IATA Travel Pass incorporates four open sourced and interoperable modules which can be combined for an end-to-end solution:
- Global registry of health requirements – enables passengers to find accurate information on travel, testing and eventually vaccine requirements for their journey.
- Global registry of testing / vaccination centres – enables passengers to find testing centres and labs at their departure location which meet the standards for testing and vaccination requirements of their destination.
- Lab App – enables authorised labs and test centres to securely share test and vaccination certificates with passengers.
- Contactless Travel App – enables passengers to create a ‘digital passport’, receive test and vaccination certificates and verify that they are sufficient for their itinerary, and share testing or vaccination certificates with airlines and authorities to facilitate travel. This app can also be used by travellers to manage travel documentation digitally and seamlessly throughout their journey, improving travel experience.
IATA and International Airlines Group (IAG) have been working together on the development of this solution and will undertake a trial to demonstrate that this platform combined with COVID-19 testing can reopen international travel and replace quarantine.
The first cross-border IATA Travel Pass pilot is scheduled for later this year and the launch slated for Q1 2021.