BusinessDay

Aviation industry gears up to manage health credentials with Travel Pass – IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that the industry is advanced in its preparation to efficiently manage travel health credentials with the IATA Travel Pass.

The airline body said this is a solution that responds to the High Level Conference on COVID-19 (HLCC) recognition that a system will be needed to digitally manage pandemic-related testing, vaccination, and recovery certification that protects the privacy and personal data.

“Airlines cannot afford a restart that is compromised by paper-based processes for checking travel health credentials. Testing is complete and several airlines are already starting implementation of IATA Travel Pass across their networks. It’s also a ready-made solution for governments to be prepared to efficiently manage their documentation processes as demand ramps up,” Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General said.

This is as IATA urged governments to use the commitments reached at the ICAO High Level Conference on COVID-19 (HLCC) to make real progress towards restoring global air connectivity.

States attending the International Civil Aviation Organisation ICAO HLCC declared their commitment to 14 measures which, if acted upon, would enable airlines to meet the demands of consumers worldwide for a revival of air travel.

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Earlier this month, ICAO published recommendations that will assist the realization of the HLCC declaration. Known as CART 3 (the Council Aviation Recovery Task Force), the outputs build on previous recommendations from CART as well as the Take-off guidance and Cross-border Manuals.

Key new or updated recommendations to ICAO member states encompass Implementation and recognition of testing, recovery, and vaccinations certificates (including digital formats) and a harmonized multi-layer risk management approach among states to facilitate international travel.

Other recommendations include entry of fully vaccinated and recovered passengers including consideration of alleviating or exempting such individuals from testing and/or quarantine measures and access for aircrew to vaccination as quickly as possible as recommended by the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE)

“CART 3 is a roadmap toward a risk-based, data-driven approach to managing COVID-19. Its recommendations are the building blocks for states to achieve the ambition of the HLCC declaration.

“After a year-and-a-half of experience with COVID-19, we have the knowledge, data, and experience to safely facilitate international travel without border restrictions. All the evidence and recommendations point towards restoring the freedom to travel for those vaccinated. And it is also clear that we have the capability to manage those without access to vaccination using testing,” Walsh said.

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