Opening travel on a global scale has indeed become a challenge since the world was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The import piece to the puzzle is opening travel in the safest manner possible. Having proper medical testing and required vaccinations is great but the real issue lies in the traveler being able to prove they are compliant. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has begun testing a passport app that lives on blockchain. This is another example of how data management needs are being met with the most safe and secure platform available.
Having accurate and up to date personal data which easily accessible for airlines and government border control authorities can help in expediting safe travel. The app would not only contain the user’s data such as testing and vaccinations. It would also provide the user with important and helpful information on travel restrictions, entry and exit requirements and lab testing sites for the country they are traveling to and from.
Storing the personal information on a blockchain gives the individual ownership of their information. They can then share that information with whomever they choose. Since there is no central database, the information is essentially hackproof and far more secure for the user.
Alan Murray Hayden, the Head Airport Passenger and Security Products person for IATA recently said, “What we need is electronic vaccination certificates. This is the only thing that will make society free again to do all the things they need to do.”
If indeed travel, in the near future, requires confirmed verification of having taken a vaccine, does that exclude those that do not wish to be vaccinated from traveling at all. That issue will be addressed at some point but for those willing to become vaccinated, using the Travel Pass system can provide some normality back into peoples’ lives.
First trials of the passport are being done by a handful of airlines. Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Etihad and Emirates have all begun rolling out the process to a select group of travelers. Fifteen other global airlines are being looked at to start the rollout in coming months.
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