International Air Transport Association in the final development phase of the IATA Travel Pass, a digital health pass that will support the safe reopening of borders. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA
International Air Transport Association in the final development phase of the IATA Travel Pass, a digital health pass that will support the safe reopening of borders. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency/ANA

IATA one step closer to launching Travel Pass

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Nov 24, 2020

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that it is in the final development phase of the IATA Travel Pass, a digital health pass that will support the safe reopening of borders.

IATA revealed that governments were beginning to use testing as a means of limiting the risks of Covid-19 importation when reopening their borders to travellers without quarantine measures. That's where the Travel Pass will fit in. It will manage and verify the secure flow of necessary testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories and travellers.

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 that enables passengers to find accurate travel information, testing and eventually vaccine requirements for their journey, as well as a global registry of testing/vaccination centres that enables passengers to find testing centres and labs at their departure location, which meet the standards for testing and vaccination requirements of their destination.

There's also the Lab App that enables authorised labs and test centres to securely share test and vaccination certificates with passengers. The Contactless Travel App allows 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 seamlessly throughout their journey.

IATA and International Airlines Group (IAG) will undertake a trial to demonstrate that this platform combined with Covid-19 testing can reopen international travel and replace quarantine.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said IATA is calling for systematic Covid-19 testing of all international travellers.

“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," he said.

Nick Careen, IATA's Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security, said the 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 program. 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,” he said.

The first cross-border IATA Travel Pass pilot is scheduled for later this year and the launch slated for early 2021.

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