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Covid-19, a passport on blockchain for flights
Covid-19, a passport on blockchain for flights
Blockchain

Covid-19, a passport on blockchain for flights

By Eleonora Spagnolo - 25 Jan 2021

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) would like to introduce a Travel Pass, a passport on the blockchain that can tell whether the traveller has received the Covid-19 vaccine.

The project was actually already announced in December. With this special visa, airlines could resume flying and ensuring connections across the globe. 

The release date could be close, as the first target is set for Q1 of 2021, a period between January and March of this year. 

 The Travel Pass would be a mobile app that would allow travellers to store and manage information about their health status and the covid-19 tests and vaccines they have been subjected to.

Alan Murray Hayden, Head Airport, Passenger and Security Products at IATA, told Future Travel Experience:

“If we look at the broader picture, what has really been driving this initiative is the way quarantine measures are heavily impacting the air transport industry. Earlier in the year we saw that when the Canary Islands lifted their quarantine, the load factors for airlines skyrocketed overnight. The solution to that is testing”.

However, even rapid tests are unreliable, and there must be staff to check them. In contrast, IATA’s Travel Pass would communicate with governments, vaccine centres and testing centres to verify information.

The technology on which it would be based rests on four factors:

  • a global registry of health requirements where the traveller can find accurate information on travel requirements, tests and vaccines;
  • a global register of test/vaccination centres to identify test centres and laboratories at the place of departure;
  • Lab app, which allows authorized laboratories and test centres to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers;
  • a digital passport form.

Travel Pass: the passport on the blockchain

Everything would be based on blockchain technology so that no database can be hacked. This way the data cannot be compromised and the information is secure. 

Hayden further explains:

“This is the beauty of the technology we’re using; it puts the passenger in complete control of their data. There’s no central database and nobody can hack it. The passenger owns their data and they share it with the airline. It’s so powerful and it’s probably one of the first ever examples of blockchain technology being implemented in a way that benefits people”.

Basically, passengers would find themselves with data and documents directly on their mobile phones and with a few steps they can decide to share them with the airline. 

When this happens it will be a step forward for the safety of all and for the restart of air travel. 

 

Eleonora Spagnolo
Eleonora Spagnolo

Journalist passionate about the web and the digital world. She graduated with honours in Multimedia Publishing at the University La Sapienza in Rome and completed a master's degree in Web and Social Media Marketing.

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