Singapore Airlines has launched trials of a new digital health verification process, which will give customers the ability to securely store and present information related to COVID-19 tests, as well as their vaccination status in the future.
The process will be the first in the world based on the International Air Transport Association’s Travel Pass framework. The service is initially being offered on flights operated by Singapore Airlines from Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.
Customers who take their COVID-19 tests at selected clinics in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur are given either digital or paper health certificates with a QR code. Airport check-in staff and Singapore’s immigration authority would be able to verify the authenticity of these certificates on arrival in Singapore via a secure mobile app.
Travelers would also be able to present the paper version for manual verification, according to the airline.
The digital technology provides a faster and more secure way to validate a passenger’s health credentials than the existing protocols, speeding up both the airport check-in process and the immigration entry process into Singapore.
If the trial proves successful, the process could be extended to other cities in the SIA route network.
IATA’s Timatic registry will provide the back-end information on the COVID-19 testing and entry requirements as part of the modular Travel Pass solution.
The airline says it also plans to integrate the entire process using the Travel Pass framework into the SingaporeAir mobile app. This solution will be available around mid-2021, supporting the global drive towards a secure and convenient industry standard for the verification of COVID-19 test and vaccinations.
“COVID-19 tests and vaccinations will be an integral part of air travel for the foreseeable future,” said JoAnn Tan, Singapore Airlines’ acting senior vice president marketing planning. “We are offering a digital solution that allows the easy and secure verification of this information, and supports the industry’s safe and calibrated recovery from this pandemic. Using IATA’s robust Travel Pass framework would also provide our customers and governments with the assurance that they need about the security and authenticity of the test and vaccination information.”
According to Margaret Tan, CAAS director of airport operations and aviation security, “SIA and IATA trials are an important step to facilitate the return of air travel. It is an innovative approach to ensure a seamless travel journey whilst ensuring that health and border agencies are reassured that the passengers have the necessary health credentials to protect public health. We hope that other countries and airlines will consider taking a similar approach.”
A full list of clinics which currently issue digitally-verifiable health certificates is available here.