Through Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter
THE TOURISM department is set to present a proposal to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) for airlines to adopt a platform developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that will allow passengers manage their travel documents digitally and share their test and vaccination results.
“We will present it to the IATF next week,” said Ministry of Tourism (DoT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat. Business world in a phone message Friday.
The Association of Air Carriers of the Philippines (ACAP) supports the proposal as it will help revive international travel, according to its executive director, Roberto CO Lim.
“ACAP supports the IATA industry initiative/tool for a standard and harmonized application to simplify international travel requirements,” Lim said in a phone message.
What is important is that the IATA platform keeps the data under the control of the passenger, he added.
He said test and vaccination results issued by accredited and “reliable” medical providers will be uploaded by passengers as part of the platform’s security feature.
“IATA Pass information is kept confidential because the information in the app is provided by the medical provider who performed the test/vaccine. There is no central repository containing information,” Lim explained.
For domestic travel, he said the DoT has an app called “Travel Philippines” that can be used to check entry requirements for local government units (LGUs).
The Travel Philippines app can be linked with the IATA Pass to create a unified digital travel pass, he noted.
Philippine Airlines spokesman Cielo C. Villaluna said using the IATA pass will “most definitely” help restore customer confidence in air travel.
“We welcome the IATA Travel Pass initiative as it will allow travelers to comply with and present travel and health document requirements with ease and convenience throughout the travel experience. trip,” Ms. Villaluna said in a phone message.
“We look forward to working with IATA and industry stakeholders towards the eventual integration of the travel pass on our flights. After all, this concept is based on industry standards and the IATA’s proven track record in managing information flows around complex travel requirements,” she added.
Philippines AirAsia said it has ongoing regional integration for all its operations centers following the IATA Pass model.
“While nothing is final yet, what is certain is that AirAsia will fully support all measures that will further improve safety and restore confidence in air travel,” the AirAsia spokesperson told reporters. Philippines, Steve F. Dailisan, in a telephone message.
“In addition to having a standard set of LGU requirements, there must always be strict measures in place that will allow industry stakeholders to validate the authenticity of documents such as COVID-19 test results. and vaccination certificates submitted by all our guests. This will allow rapid coordination between LGUs, transport regulators, airlines, molecular laboratories and health authorities,” he explained.
On its website, IATA said its platform also allows passengers to find test centers and laboratories at their departure or arrival locations that can perform coronavirus tests in accordance with the type of test required. for their travels.
According to global travel technology company Amadeus, 91% of travelers are comfortable with digital health passports.
A recent study by Amadeus also found that appetite for travel remains high, with 41% of travelers saying they plan to book international travel within six weeks of lifting restrictions.