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IATA Unveils Plans for New Travel Pass

IATA Unveils Plans for New Travel Pass

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has unveiled key design elements of the IATA Travel Pass. The pass is a mobile app to help travellers easily and securely manage their travel in line with any government requirements for Covid-19 testing or vaccine information.

“Testing is the immediate solution to safely re-open borders and re-connect people – and eventually this is likely to transition to vaccination requirements,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Chief Executive. “In either case, a secure system to manage Covid-19 testing or vaccination information is critical.

“The IATA Travel Pass is a solution that both travellers and governments can trust – and it is being built with data security, convenience and verification as top priorities.”

IATA emphasised that critical design elements would put travellers in control of their personal information for top-level data security and data privacy. The IATA Travel Pass stores encrypted data including verified test or vaccination results on the mobile device of the traveller. Global standards recognised by governments are also employed to ensure verified identity and test/vaccine information.

A government-issued ePassport is used to verify the identity of the user. It also serves to create a digital representation of the user’s passport to allow the information to be sent electronically in a secured way that is linked to their verified identity.

Currently the main vaccination requirement for entry into some countries is for yellow fever. Under the International Health Regulations, this is managed by the ‘yellow card’ or International Certificate of Vaccination and Prophylaxis. The World Health Organisation is developing digital standards that will make these vastly more secure and will dramatically reduce fraud. When ready, the IATA Travel Pass will be able to accommodate such new global standards.

Until a Covid-19 vaccine is widely available to the general public, the priority is on Covid-19 testing. Laboratories have well-established safety standards for managing and verifying test results to individuals. IATA is partnering with selected and established laboratories to securely link their test results with the verified identity of the IATA Travel Pass holder.

“We are building the IATA Travel Pass with one aim – to help reconnect our world safely,” said Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security. “IATA has brought advancements in global standards like e-ticketing and mobile boarding passes to consumers in all parts of the world. This unique capability demonstrates that we can work with industry and governments to re-shape travel processes based on global standards.”

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at www.thetravelbuddhist.com.

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