- Digital health certificates will help to safely restore air travel
From 1 May 2021, passengers travelling to Singapore by air will be able to use the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass to share their pre-departure COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test results with their airline during check-in, as well as on-arrival at the immigration checkpoints at Changi Airport. This is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and IATA to facilitate seamless and efficient travel through digital certificates of COVID-19 tests, the CAA and IATA have stated.
The IATA Travel Pass is a personal secure digital wallet solution that can be used by passengers to obtain and store their COVID-19 test results from accredited laboratories. Such solutions will help drive adoption of digital health certificates and facilitate the secure verification of the health credentials of travellers. This is a positive step towards smooth air travel and safeguarding of public health.
In December 2020 – Singapore Airlines (SIA) started trials on a new digital health verification process, which will be the first in the world to be based on the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass framework.
Following the successful trials by Singapore Airlines, the Singapore health and border control authorities will accept the IATA Travel Pass as a valid form of presentation of COVID-19 pre-departure test results for entry into Singapore. The information presented on the IATA Travel Pass will be in a format that satisfies Singapore’s prevailing COVID-19 pre-departure test requirements for entry into Singapore, IATA and Singapore CAA announced.
They stated further that CAAS and IATA will be working on further enhancements to the IATA Travel Pass. This includes enabling QR code scanning by immigration officers and back-end transmission of health credentials from the IATA Travel Pass to the airlines’ and immigration authorities’ systems for pre-boarding and pre-arrival clearance, as well as including digital vaccination certificates in the IATA Travel Pass.
CAAS Director-General Mr. Kevin Shum, said, “We have built upon our long standing and deep partnership with IATA to develop solutions to facilitate travel. This latest collaboration with IATA demonstrates our shared commitment to drive the adoption of digital health certificates and restore international air travel. As we work to safely rebuild the Changi air hub, we will continue to explore other solutions that can provide similarly secure and verifiable means of sharing health certificates for safe international travel.”
Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA, said: “Having the confidence of an aviation leader like Singapore in IATA Travel Pass is hugely significant. Ongoing trials put us on track for IATA Travel Pass to be a critical tool for the industry’s restart by delivering verified travel health credentials to governments. And travellers can have complete confidence that their personal data is secure and under their own control. The success of our joint efforts will make IATA’s partnership with the government of Singapore a model for others to follow.”
The IATA Travel Pass app will be available for download in the second half of April. It is being trialled by more than 20 airlines, including Singapore Airlines. Travellers to Singapore intending to use the IATA Travel Pass should check with the airline they are travelling with for eligibility to use the IATA Travel Pass.