AviationIATA hopes the app will unlock global travel and counter the potential for fraudulent Covid certificates.

Explainer: What you need to know about IATA Travel Pass

IATA hopes its Travel Pass will become the safety standard for travel worldwide.
IATA hopes its Travel Pass will become the safety standard for travel worldwide.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released further details of its Travel Pass, which it hopes will gain universal acceptance as a means of safe travel during and long after the age of Covid.

The Travel Pass app will enable passengers to create a digital passport which will verify their Covid tests and vaccination status and share that information with government border authorities to facilitate travel.

IATA says the Travel Pass will allow both passengers and governments to have confidence in each passenger’s verified Covid-19 status.

The industry body also believes that the app will also speed the rollout of biometric technology in travel “long after Covid has gone”.

How will it work?
Once travellers have been tested and/or vaccinated, accredited labs will securely send data to the individual's app. It then checks requirements for travel against the data, and customers who meet those travel requirements will be cleared to travel.

When will it arrive?
IATA has conceded that its new Travel Pass will start slowly and “take time to grow”. Singapore Airlines has launched a pilot scheme and in April Air New Zealand will test the IATA Travel Pass on flights between Auckland and Sydney. Many other airlines are working through pilot programmes.

How much will it cost?
IATA says its priority is to get the airline industry back on its feet and it sees the Travel Pass as a means to achieve this. IATA says the Travel Pass will not be a revenue generator and will be priced “just to cover costs”.

Will the Travel Pass have universal acceptance?
Not necessarily. One of the biggest challenges for IATA is getting governments across the world to accept the Travel Pass as the standard for international air travel.

It is hoped the accredited laboratories who issue certificates will have them recognised by all governments.

Will the Travel Pass replace paper health certificates, such as those for yellow fever?
In most cases. IATA says the potential for fraud with paper certificates will be overcome by the digital Travel Pass. IATA also says additional datasets required for travel can be integrated into the app. The Travel Pass can also integrate with an airline’s own applications.

Will my information be secure on the Travel Pass?
Yes. Passengers will have the sole right to share their data with IATA and they can delete their data at any time. Country regulations on access to passenger data will also be respected.

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