A digital health pass called IATA Travel Pass, which has been developed to support the safe reopening of borders, is in the final development phase. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), governments around the world are beginning to use testing as a means of limiting the risks of Covid-19 importation when re-opening their borders to travellers without quarantine measures. The first cross-border IATA Travel Pass pilot is scheduled for later this year and the launch slated for quarter one 2021.
IATA Travel Pass intends to manage and verify the secure flow of necessary testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories and travellers. The association is therefore 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.
Should also 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. 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,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
IATA Travel Pass incorporates four open sourced and interoperable modules which can be combined for an end-to-end solution. These include a global registry of health requirements, a global registry of testing and vaccination centres, a Laboratory App and a contactless Travel App.
IATA and International Airlines Group (IAG) have been working together in the development of the Travel Pass solution and will undertake a trial to demonstrate that the platform combined with Covid-19 testing can re-open international travel and replace quarantine.
The airline industry demands a cost effective, global, and modular solution to safely restart travel. IATA Travel Pass is based on industry standards and IATA’s proven experience in managing information flows around complex travel requirements.
IATA’s Timatic is used by most airlines to manage compliance with passport and visa regulations and will be the base for the global registry and verification of health requirements.
IATA’s One ID initiative was endorsed by a resolution at its 75th Annual General Meeting in 2019 to securely facilitate travel processes with a single identity token. It is the base for the IATA Contactless Travel App for identity verification that will also manage the test and vaccination certificates.
“Our main priority is to get people travelling again safely. In the immediate term that means giving governments confidence that systematic Covid-19 testing can work as a replacement for quarantine requirements. And that will eventually develop into a vaccine programme. The IATA Travel Pass is a solution for both. And we have built it using a modular approach based on open source standards to facilitate interoperability. It can be used in combination with other providers or as a standalone end-to-end solution. The most important thing is that it is responsive to industry’s needs while enabling a competitive market,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security.