IATA Travel Pass an antidote for Covid-bitten aviation industry
The most important thing is that the IATA Travel Pass is responsive to industry needs while enabling a competitive market
Covid-19 is here to stay. It has been over a year and the globe is still reeling with the pandemic causing widespread death and destruction. The aviation industry has been affected the most and recovery is predicted to be cautious and slow. Despite all the precautions being taken by the aviation industry, governments are apprehensive about opening up borders to normalise flight schedules. Governments have initiated Covid-19 vaccination drives but it will take over a year before a substantial percentage of the world's population is vaccinated.
International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global body promoting air travel, which has a membership of 290 airlines from 120 nations, has taken up the initiative of helping to reopen borders.
The IATA Travel Pass is envisaged as an all-encompassing solution for flyers. Image courtesy: IATA
To reopen borders without the need for quarantine and to restart aviation, governments need to be confident that they are effectively mitigating the risk of importing Covid-19. This means having accurate information on passengers’ Covid-19 status.
Informing passengers on what tests, vaccines and other measures they require prior to travelling, details of where they can get tested and giving them the option to share their tests and vaccination results in a verifiable, safe and privacy-protected manner is the key to giving governments the confidence to open borders again. To address this challenge, the IATA has worked on the IATA Travel Pass, a digital platform for passengers.
The travel pass is a global and standardised solution to validate and authenticate all country regulations regarding passenger travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. The IATA Travel Pass will incorporate four open-sourced and interoperable modules which can be combined for an end-to-end solution.
The main priority is to get people travelling safely again. In the immediate term that means establishing confidence in governments that systematic pre-departure Covid-19 testing can work as a replacement for quarantine. And that will eventually develop into a vaccine programme.
The IATA Travel Pass is a solution for both. It is built in the form of modules as an industry solution based on open-source standards. It can be used in combination with other platforms or as an end-to-end solution. The most important thing is that it is responsive to industry needs while enabling a competitive market.
A unified approach to meet the industry's need can only be met by working together under the umbrella of a distinguished institution which works to promote the interests of all stakeholders.
(This article first appeared in avobanter.com)