The International Air Transport Association is developing the IATA Travel Pass, a mobile application that will allow travelers to easily and securely manage information about COVID-19 testing or vaccination in accordance with government travel requirements.
The IATA Travel Pass is slated for release in early Q1 2021 for Android and iPhone.
The key elements of the IATA Travel Pass are:
Personal data security – Allow travelers to maintain control of their personal information to ensure data security and confidentiality. The IATA Travel Pass stores encrypted data, including verified results of tests or vaccinations on the traveler’s mobile device, and not in a central database or data repository.
The traveler controls what information is shared from their phone with airlines and authorities. The Travel Pass also incorporates the highest standards of data protection laws, including the EU General Data Protection Regulation.
Identity Verified and Test Results – A government-issued electronic passport is used to verify the identity of the user. A digital representation of the user’s passport is also created to enable the secure electronic transfer of information. This is based on International Civil Aviation Organization standards described in its COVID-19 Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) guidance.
Until a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available to the general public, the priority of travelers is on testing. IATA partners with selected and established laboratories to securely link their test results to the verified identity of the IATA Travel Pass holder.
The World Health Organization is developing digital standards to secure health and immunization information. When these standards are implemented, the IATA Travel Pass will be able to accommodate them.
Contactless travel – The aviation industry has been developing contactless travel processes for several years as part of a One ID program. The IATA Travel Pass’s digital identity management module means travelers will also be able to use contactless travel processes from check-in to boarding.
While the need for COVID-19 testing and vaccination verification may eventually disappear with the end of the pandemic, the IATA Travel Pass will continue to be part of a contactless travel experience.
“Testing is the immediate solution to reopening borders safely and reconnecting people. And over time, that will probably shift to vaccination requirements, ”said Alexandre de Juniac, Managing Director and CEO of IATA. “In either case, a secure system to manage COVID-19 tests or immunization information is essential. The IATA Travel Pass is a solution that travelers and governments can trust. And it’s built with security, convenience, and data verification as top priorities. “
During the pandemic crisis and beyond, contactless processes will continue to be popular with travelers, according to IATA research.
• 70% of passengers were afraid to hand over their passport, phone or boarding pass to airline agents, security personnel or government officials at the airport
• 85 percent of travelers said contactless processing throughout the airport would make them feel more secure, and
• Already 44% of travelers have said they are ready to share personal data to enable a contactless process, up significantly from 30% in June.
Several initiatives are already underway to create global standards for applications that will provide immigration and health officials with testing and vaccination data on individual travelers. One of them is currently being tested, CommonPass, an app that allows governments to check the health criteria of travelers.
American Airlines has launched a similar mobile app for their passengers called Verifly that enables real-time certification of health credentials related to COVID-19. The app displays the testing and documentation requirements for the passenger’s destination and verifies that the traveller’s data matches the country requirements.