IATA travel pass to reopen borders

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) last night (Nov. 23) announced that it is in the final development phase of a digital health pass for the safe re-opening of borders worldwide.

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

IATA has always advocated for the use of testing rather than quarantine as the most effective way to re-start travel worldwide.

“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 global information infrastructure to securely manage, share and verify test data matched with traveler identities in compliance with border control requirements. That’s the job of IATA Travel Pass," he elaborated.

Already, governments are beginning to use testing as a means of limiting the risks of COVID-19 importation when re-opening their borders to travelers without quarantine measures.

The IATA Travel Pass will manage and verify the secure flow of necessary testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories and travelers.

IATA is calling for systematic COVID-19 testing of all international travelers and the information flow infrastructure needed to enable this.

Governments must have the means to verify the authenticity of tests and the identity of those presenting the test certificates.

Airlines, for their part, should have the ability to provide accurate information to passengers on test requirements and verify that a passenger meets the requirements for travel.

Laboratories need to issue digital certificates to passengers that will be recognized by governments, and;

Travelers need 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.

The IATA Travel Pass incorporates four open sourced and interoperable modules which can be combined for an end-to-end solution.

The first is a global registry of health requirements.

This enables passengers to find accurate information on travel, testing and eventually vaccine requirements for their journey.

The second is a global registry of testing / vaccination centers.

This enables passengers to find testing centers and labs at their departure location which meet the standards for testing and vaccination requirements of their destination.

The third is a Lab App for authorized labs and test centers to securely share test and vaccination certificates with passengers.

The last is a Contactless Travel App enabling passengers to create a ‘digital passport’, receive test and vaccination certificates sufficient for their itinerary, and share testing or vaccination certificates with airlines and authorities to facilitate travel.

Travelers can also use the app to manage travel documentation digitally throughout their journey, improving travel experience.

IATA and the International Airlines Group (IAG) have been working together in the development of the travel pass solution.

They will undertake a trial to demonstrate that the platform, combined with COVID-19 testing, can reopen international travel and replace quarantine.

The airline industry demands a cost effective, global, and modular solution to safely restart travel.

The IATA Travel Pass is based on industry standards and IATA’s proven experience in managing information flows around complex travel requirements.