An app in the works would display a flyer's test and vaccination info

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Traveler on phone at airport wearing mask [Credit: DimaBerlin/Shutterstock.com]
An app in development by IATA would enable flyers to access health data and easily show it to airport officials. Photo Credit: DimaBerlin/Shutterstock.com

IATA plans to release an app early next year that would display travelers' health data as part of its effort to open up the international travel market during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The app, to be called IATA Travel Pass, would enable healthcare providers to securely upload Covid test results and vaccination certificates to a users' account while also binding those documents to a traveler's identity to prevent misuse. Through the app, users would then display those documents to airlines and airports to facilitate travel.

Taken in whole, the app will serve the purpose of allowing passengers to seamlessly have their health credentials verified, either through a simple app click or via a QR code that would be scanned by airport authorities.

"Today borders are double locked. Testing is the first key to enable international travel without quarantine measures," explained IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac in a statement. "The second key is the global information infrastructure needed to securely manage, share and verify test data matched with traveler identities in compliance with border control requirements. That's the job of IATA Travel Pass."

The app is slated for release on Apple iOS in the first quarter of 2021 and on Android in the second quarter, Alan Murray Hayden, IATA's head of airport passenger and security products, said during a virtual press conference Monday. The app will be free to users; airlines will pay a small fee per passenger to IATA.

IATA Travel Pass will be similar to the Commons Project Foundation's CommonPass, a digital health pass that has been developed in cooperation with the World Economic Forum, 37 countries, the CDC and Customs and U.S. Border Protection.

Hayden said IATA will work with other providers and is developing Travel Pass in order to open up the travel industry, rather than to compete.

"When nobody is flying, nobody is winning," he said.

Travel Pass will make use of blockchain technology so that testing centers can share documents directly with users. Customer data will not be stored, Hayden said.

The identity verification feature of the app, which also manages the test and vaccination certificates, will be powered by IATA One ID technology.

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