IATA to Launch Health Passport in 20 Airlines
Around 20 airlines will from March begin trialing an IATA app that allows passengers to securely store and share the Covid-19 vaccine and test records they need to travel internationally.
The industry body announced its digital health passport in November, and believes it will be a vital tool in convincing governments to unlock their borders and allowing “seamless” journeys as flying picks up again.
IATA is working at “full capacity” to roll out the Travel Pass and talking to “30 to 40” other carriers about adopting its “digital platform for passengers”, says head of passenger and security products, Alan Hayden.
IATA is not marketing the product directly to consumers, but rather encouraging airlines to incorporate the technology into their own customer apps. It will contain information on what tests, vaccines and other measures passengers require before travel to various destinations; a means of recording their health status; and, importantly, an internationally-consistent and simple way of conveying that to airline and immigration officials.
IATA’s is one of several similar initiatives where an app effectively serves as a health passport. They include CommonPass, which is backed by the Rockefeller Foundation and was tested at London’s Heathrow Airport late last year.
However, ever-changing Covid travel protocols around the world are threatening to overload the process. Prior to the pandemic, IATA was making an average 70 changes a day to the Timatic database. Today, there are often more than 200 daily updates, he said.