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Healthy Passport Apps Under Development in Travel Industry

(TNS) — ravel technology companies are developing health passport apps to allow travelers to verify test results or vaccinations for international flights.

A hodge-podge of tech firms, industry associations and airlines around the world have been developing and trialing different digital passport options to ease the process of complying with COVID-19 health requirements for travel.

SITA, a travel technology firm with its U.S. offices in Atlanta, said Thursday it has started trials of technology enabling airlines and passengers to share COVID-19 test results or vaccination history with authorities to meet government requirements. It has tested it with travelers to the United Arab Emirates and plans for a trial at Milan, Italy’s Malpensa Airport.

SITA says its Health Protect technology has potential to “bridge the gap between airlines resuming normal operations and governments’ strong focus on keeping control of COVID-19,” according to a written statement from  David Lavorel , SITA CEO of airports and borders.

A new U.S. requirement for a negative COVID-19 test for international travel to the United States took effect Jan. 26.

Airline and travel industry officials have raised concerns about a potential federal testing requirement for U.S. domestic travel. The industry group Airlines for America said it believes a domestic travel testing requirement is unwarranted because the risk of COVID-19 transmission on a plane is low, and that such a mandate would require a 42% increase in daily testing capacity nationwide.

There’s an array of international travel requirements that vary by country and change frequently as governments respond to the fluctuations in coronavirus cases and variants.

The International Air Transport Association, a global airline industry group, says its IATA Travel Pass allows passengers to verify that their test or vaccinations meet regulations required for international travel.

It can also help passengers to find information on international travel requirements, test centers and labs while traveling, and allows authorized labs and test centers to send test results or vaccination certificates. IATA is partnering with Emirates and Etihad Airways to launch the IATA Travel Pass. It said Copa Airlines and the government of Panama will conduct a trial of the technology.

The SITA software is designed to integrate with different travel pass systems developed by other organizations and companies, including CommonPass and the IATA Travel Pass.

CommonPass, whose network includes United, JetBlueLufthansaVirgin Atlantic and Airports Council International, was developed by a nonprofit public trust supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and the World Economic Forum. It is aimed at letting travelers demonstrate their health status while protecting their data privacy. The CommonPass was tested on United flights last fall.

According to CommonPass CEO  Paul Meyer , the system could be used for people to safely return to travel, work and school.

(c)2021 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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