Collins Aerospace has worked with IATA and aviation partners to support the IATA Travel Pass to get the world flying again

Sponsored by: Collins Aerospace

Why is the IATA Travel Pass so important?

To help reopen international borders and restart the aviation industry, Collins Aerospace is teaming with IATA to provide support for IATA’s new digital health platform: Travel Pass. The app enables accurate information to be provided to airline passengers on test requirements, as well as to verify that a passenger has met those requirements for travel to their chosen destination.

The IATA Travel Pass is a global solution to validate and authenticate all country regulations regarding COVID-19 passenger travel requirements. The mobile application helps travelers plan, store, and manage their verified test results for COVID-19 in a more secure and efficient way than current paper processes.  Giving airlines the ability to provide accurate information to their passengers on test requirements and to verify that passengers meet the requirements for travel is key to getting travelers back in the air.

What IATA Travel Pass provides is a global solution developed by the industry’s own governing body. It is built to industry standards (such as ICAO DTC and W3C-Digital Comms), supports existing initiatives (such as One ID), and is built on decentralized technology to ensure there is no central database holding passenger information. With so many health passport solutions suddenly emerging, disparate systems have the potential to confuse and frustrate travelers. The reassurance provided to both airlines and passengers alike will position Travel Pass as a key component to restarting international travel.

What were the challenges in providing seamless connections for the app?

Exchanging data between Travel Pass and the global airlines’ disparate computer systems requires complex technologies that can map the multiple data formats into a single service. This enables the passenger’s experience to remain the same, irrespective of the airline they are flying with or the journey they are embarking on.

This is delivered as a secure and seamless service that may involve the passenger using multiple airlines on a single journey.

Collins Aerospace has made integration with Travel Pass easy and streamlined. Our established platform sends passenger itinerary data safely and securely to the Travel Pass application. From there, itineraries are checked against destination requirements. Passengers’ test results or vaccine certificates can then be used to determine an “OK to travel” status.

What can the industry learn from the work and the cooperation behind IATA Travel Pass?

Global problems require global solutions, driven by all stakeholders within the industry.  In pushing forward the Travel Pass solution, IATA’s leadership—and companies like Collins Aerospace— has provided this global solution in a timely manner, making it as easy as possible for airlines to implement using existing systems. Everyone in the aviation industry, from airlines to airports to industry suppliers, as well as government agencies, were all significantly impacted by the recent health crisis. Despite the difficulties, with each party providing its own specialist skills and technology, integrating a worldwide network of accredited testing laboratories —and re-using existing services such as IATA’s Timatic platform—a platform has been created to get the industry up and running again. And passengers are the other integral constituents, giving them new technology solutions that are easy to use and getting them back to traveling safely.

Careful design choices not only allows Travel Pass to fulfill the immediate requirements for health, but also provide a platform for the future implementation of biometric-based, One ID travel programs. 

Overall, what is your view on digitization within aviation? Are airlines well placed or are they still too reliant on legacy systems? And has the crisis stalled investment in crucial projects?

Collins Aerospace views digitization within aviation as one of the key drivers that will bring greater efficiencies and increased passenger satisfaction.  Airports and airlines have recognized the need for this technology update and are working with industry to enable new solutions. Improved use of the data generated by new solutions, as well as legacy solutions, will give aviation operations increased decision-making capabilities. The recent crisis has shown a slowing of investment in some areas but there has been a focus on investment in new areas such as biometrics and self-service solutions to help passengers easily move through the airport.

Although many systems are legacy based, innovative technology, such as the systems provided by Collins, supports these systems to be integrated into new services and business processes.

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