In a massive boost to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has announced that it will accept the IATA Travel Pass from all arriving passengers. In what it calls a move to restore air travel safely, anyone arriving in Singapore by air will be able to use the IATA Travel Pass to prove a negative pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test.
Passengers arriving and departing Changi Airport (SIN) can use the IATA Travel Pass at both arrivals immigration checkpoints and also while checking in for flights. In a statement released today about the CAAS and IATA’s ongoing collaboration, the CAAS says that Singapore will accept the IATA from all passengers beginning May 1. The CAAS says that accepting the IATA Travel Pass as proof of a negative PCR test will facilitate seamless and efficient travel.
What is the IATA Travel Pass?
The IATA Travel Pass is a secure digital wallet that passengers can use to obtain and store their PCR test results from accredited laboratories. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the IATA has developed the mobile phone Travel Pass app to allow passengers to store and manage their COVID-19 PCR results or proof of having been vaccinated against COVID-19.
How does the IATA Travel Pass work?
The IATA Travel Pass has four open and interoperable modules, which it uses to create an end-to-end solution by incorporating the following features:
- The app allows passengers to find accurate information on global health requirements on testing and, eventually, vaccine requirements for their journey.
- A global registry of testing and vaccination centers enables passengers to find testing centers and laboratories at their departure locations that meet the country’s requirements to which they are traveling.
- The app enables accredited laboratories and test centers to share test and vaccination certificates with passengers securely.
- The app allows passengers to share PCR testing or vaccination certificates with airlines and authorities.
Singapore Airlines trialed the app
Singapore Airlines (SIA) successfully tested the IATA Travel Pass during March on flights between Singapore and London. The Singapore health authorities and border control officers will now accept the IATA Travel Pass as proof of a negative PCR test or vaccination.
When speaking about Singapore accepting the IATA Travel Pass as proof of a negative PCR test or that you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, CAAS Director-General 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.”
Former CEO of the International Airlines Group and now Director-General of IATA Willie Walsh talked about the IATA Travel Pass, saying:
“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 travelers 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.”
More than 20 airlines are trialing the app
When Simple Flying wrote about Singapore Airlines’ trial of the IATA Travel Pass, we discovered that it only worked on Apple smartphones. IATA has addressed this shortfall and says that an Android version of the app will launch at the end of April. They also say that there will be a paper alternative for people who do not have a smartphone.
Currently, the IATA Travel Pass is being trialed by the following airlines:
- Singapore Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- Malaysia Airlines
- Copa Airlines
- Air New Zealand
- Gulf Air
- Air Serbia
- Thai Smile
- Korean Air
- Virgin Atlantic
- Ethiopian Airlines
- HongKong Airlines
The CAAS says that travelers to Singapore who intend to use the app should first check with the airlines they are flying on to see if they accept the IATA Travel Pass as proof of a negative PCR test or vaccination.
It looks like out of all the apps that have been designed for air travel during the current pandemic that the IATA Travel Pass has the potential to become the industry standard.
Have you used the IATA Travel Pass yet? If so, please tell us how you like or dislike it in the comments.